The Atlantic Council, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Policy and International Affairs, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory held a dialogue with government, industry and non-governmental experts examining the US energy sector vulnerabilities and identifying potential improvements to the resilience of the energy system.

The provision of sustainable, affordable and reliable supplies of energy is critical to economic growth and national security. At the same time, climate change, extreme weather events, population growth, and shifting patterns in demand pose significant challenges for the US energy system. A comprehensive understanding of these risks, costs, and effective adaptation strategies is critical to managing these uncertainties.  

This workshop sought  to identify critical vulnerabilities to the US energy system and provide specific recommendations to inform policy planning and energy technology research, development, demonstration, and deployment investments. The agenda aimed to provide a detailed review of the major challenges and needs faced by industry, the research community, and policy makers in order to better understand, and respond to, these vulnerabilities in a cost-effective manner. The participants were asked to identify vulnerabilities to their operations, adaptation actions taken or planned, and to focus on specific, actionable, recommendations where significant knowledge gaps exist and where industry has identified needs to ensure that climate vulnerabilities can be responded to in an effective manner. Proposed next steps and recommendations were identified to address these challenges and the gaps in knowledge in a concerted and coordinated fashion. 

Inputs from this workshop contributed to a report which seeks to identify significant vulnerabilities and potential responses that work to ensure energy security and system resiliency. The ability of the U.S. energy system to predict, respond, and adapt quickly to future vulnerabilities will be critical and will have a direct impact on the requirements of the current and future national energy infrastructure.

The Council will soon be publishing a report outlining the findings of the event. 

The event was held on July 24th and July 25th 2012.

Powerpoint Presentations:

For additional information, contact Mihaela Carstei, Associate Director, Energy and Environment Program