Addressing Challenges and Opportunities in the Energy Sector


Energy grids provide electricity to millions of homes and businesses via a complex and vulnerable network of power plants, transmission lines, and distribution centers. Ensuring the grids run as intended is a priority for all who work in the power and energy sector. As innovative technologies, new opportunities, and safety issues arise, the National Electrical Safety Code® (NESC®) evolves to address concerns. The latest edition, NESC 2023, protects both the public and utility workers, as it is the authoritative code for ensuring the continued practical safeguarding of utility facilities.

Prevailing Threats & Projections

As the growing number and severity of extreme weather events make headlines worldwide, utilities are wisely focused on grid resiliency. Power outages triggered by major storms have doubled in the past twenty years and experts at Colorado State University predict an above average 2022 storm season with 19 hurricanes. 

Also this year, the number of cyber security risks to critical infrastructure have escalated—disrupting or compromising our lives by taking down nuclear, energy, financial, or technology sectors. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, even a short-lived attack on the power grid could cause substantial interruptions to security systems and important lines of communication. 

One of the largest frontiers in the power and energy field today is the development and implementation of smart grid technology and clean energy. The smart grid market is projected to grow US$103.4 billion by 2026, as governments around the world have imposed several supportive policies and mandates that focus on implementing smart grids and spreading awareness about energy conservation. 

According to an article from the Union of Concerned Scientists, removing barriers to energy storage is key to a clean energy future. Having enough energy storage will help support the massive number of renewables that will be added to the grid in the coming decades.

Highlights of NESC 2023

Published by IEEE SA and updated every five years to stay current with changes in the industry and technology, the NESC specifies best practices to safeguard the electric supply and communication utility systems at both public and private utilities. The NESC is continuously evolving to embrace new technologies, and the Code reflects potential impact of recent and emerging technologies. 

Notable changes to the 2023 NESC include:

  • Significant revisions covering batteries, addressing new battery technologies, energy storage, and backup power.
  • A new section for photovoltaic generating stations with rules to accommodate large-scale solar power projects.
  • The Code further clarifies the use of non-hazardous fiber optic cables.

“The 2023 NESC includes updates throughout, many of which address emerging technologies such as solar and wind energy, distributed energy/microgrids, batteries and energy storage, and wireless small cell networks,” said Nelson Bingel, chair of the NESC Committee.

Stay Current with NESC 2023

Help your company to comply with the latest guidelines. The NESC® 2023: National Electrical Safety Code training is a complete seven-course program NESC program online through IEEE Xplore and on IEEE Learning Network. This course series aims to educate power utility professionals on the rules, regulations, and changes in the 2023 edition of the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC). Presented by industry leaders who helped write the standard, this course program takes an in-depth look at the NESC and covers the Code in its entirety.

Connect with an IEEE Content Specialist today to learn more about this program and how to get access to it for your organization.

Interested in the program for yourself? Visit the IEEE Learning Network.


BusinessWire. (3 August 2022). IEEE Publishes 2023 National Electrical Safety Code. BusinessWire.

Certec Corporation. (15 August 2022). The importance of critical infrastructure protection in the energy sector. Power Engineering.

Copeland, Mark. (1 August 2022). Innovating Grid Resilience from the Outside In. PowerMag.

 MarketsandMarkets Research Pvt. Ltd. (18 August 2022). Smart Grid Market Size Projected to Grow $103.4 Billion by 2026 | at a CAGR of 19.1%. GlobeNewswire.

Pereira, Guillermo. (17 August 2022). Removing Barriers to Energy Storage is Key to a Clean Energy Future. Union of Concerned Scientists.

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