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Infrastructure Resilience Conference 2018

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The Role of Resilience in a Holistic Framework for Secure Energy Supply

The energy sector is a key infrastructure of modern society. On the one hand, reliable energy supply is a necessary prerequisite for most goods and services, and on the other hand it facilitates productivity, trade and economic growth. Disruptions and breakdowns of the energy supply may cause serious economic damage and affect large segments of the population. This indicates the importance to build more resilient energy systems with regard to technical failures, human factors, intentional attacks, and natural hazards.

Nevertheless, the concept of resilience for energy supply has received increased attention only in recent years. Particularly a more integrated perspective has emerged during the last decade by combining resilience with the concepts of sustainability, energy security and risk.

The current study illustrates this complex interplay by a case study that assesses the energy security and sustainability implications from an environmental, economic and social standpoint for four global energy supply scenarios. In particular, a set of indicators is quantified for these energy supply scenarios, and then subjected to a multi-criteria decision aiding framework. In this way, complex relationships, tradeoffs and potentially robust solutions can be evaluated and compared. Furthermore, the sensitivity of the four scenarios to selected shocks are investigated.

Results show that no single scenario meets all sustainability and security of supply criteria, but the results indicate a trade-off between strong CO2 policies and economic performance, whereas environmental and social objectives do not seem to be in contradiction to a secure supply. In summary, there are clear synergies between protection of climate and security of supply.

Matteo Spada
Paul Scherrer Institut

Marco Cinelli
Future Resilient Systems (FRS), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Singapore-ETH Centre (SEC)

Peter Burgherr
Paul Scherrer Institute

Stefan Hirschberg
Paul Scherrer Institut


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