Energy, in all its forms, is a vital commodity for societies and economies to function properly. Disruptions in energy systems have the potential to cause severe impacts, thereby limiting economic and societal development. As such, modern energy systems need to be able to withstand shocks from a wide range of sources, including natural disasters, geopolitical conflicts, and new and emerging threats related to the ongoing digitalization of energy systems.

Promoting resilience through peer reviews

The IEA conducts peer reviews of its Member countries on a regular basis. Resilience of energy networks is a key focus of these reviews, as they help to ensure that members are able to react and adapt to changing conditions. This is done by assessing their ability to identify existing or emerging risks and offering policy recommendations where appropriate.

For more information on Emergency Response Reviews, click here.

Weather and climate resilience

The energy sector faces multiple threats from climate change, in particular from extreme weather events and increasing stress on water resources. Greater resilience to climate change impacts will be essential to the technical viability of the energy sector and its ability to cost-effectively meet the rising energy demands driven by global economic and population growth.

The inter-dependencies between energy and water are set to intensify in the coming years. Water is essential for all phases of energy generation, from production of fossil fuels and biofuels to power plant operation. Managing energy-water linkages is and will continue to be pivotal to the prospects for successful realisation of a range of development and climate goals.

Read more in the 2016 World Energy Outlook: Water-Energy Nexus (exerpt) and the Energy, Climate Change & Environment: 2016 Insights.

Digital resilience

In 2017, the IEA turned its focus to the impact of digitalisation on the energy sector. Energy systems around the world are becoming more interconnected and intelligent. This expansion brings many opportunities, but also new challenges as suppliers and governments seek to ensure the security of these systems. To date, cyber-related disruptions to the energy sector have been relatively minor; however, cyber-attacks are becoming more common, and the issue will only become more important as greater volumes of data are exchanged or stored on servers and with the increasingly rapid development of connected devices.

Read more in the report ‘Digitalisation and Energy 2017

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