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2022 | Book

Energy Resilience and Climate Protection

Energy systems, critical infrastructures, and sustainability goals


About this book

The increasingly interconnected, fast-moving, unmanageable and unpredictable world brings with it an unprecedented variety of known and as yet unknown challenges and risks. Some of the global risks have a direct impact on critical infrastructures as well as those of energy supply in particular. A high level of functionality of critical infrastructures (CRITIS), which include the sectors of energy, information technology and telecommunications, transportation and traffic, health, water, food, finance and insurance, government and administration, as well as media and culture, is indispensable for a modern industrial society. In the context of the Corona crisis of 2020/2021, the worldwide inadequate preparation for pandemics became obvious, although the probability of epidemic outbreaks and their global spread has increased significantly in recent decades and was thus predictable to a certain extent. Moreover, it has been shown that in a globally interconnected world, complex crisis phenomena can mutually amplify and thus escalate within a short period of time. In particular, the deficits in preparedness for major risks that became apparent in the course of the Corona pandemic cannot be managed by nation states alone, especially since the probability of such events has risen continuously in recent decades and will continue to increase with growing globalization and urbanization and, in particular, as a result of climate change and its consequences. This publication addresses the challenges of energy resilience and climate protection, which will require immense attention in the future.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction
As social, technical and economic hubs, and as centers of industry and infrastructure, cities are particularly frequently affected by technology-related disasters, political and social conflicts, and hazards such as pandemics, extreme natural events and terrorist attacks, as numerous events in recent years have made clear. The protection of urban areas and their population is associated with numerous challenges, such as the supply and possible evacuation of many people in high-density urban areas in the event of an accident at a nearby nuclear power plant. Dealing with vulnerable groups affected by catastrophic events, such as financially weak families, immigrants, or elderly people living alone, is also a particular challenge, making effective and timely risk communication increasingly important, as was evident and confirmed in the Corona pandemic (2020/2021).
Heinz-Adalbert Krebs, Patricia Hagenweiler
Chapter 2. Energy Transition and Climate Change
The energy transition adopted by the German government in 2011 was aimed in particular at a gradual shutdown of nuclear power plants by 2022, the development and use of renewable energies, and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) by 40% by 2040 and by 80 to 95% by 2050, primarily through the phase-out of coal. In addition to renewable primary energy sources, which include wind energy, biomass, solar energy, hydropower and geothermal energy in particular, hydrogen is also becoming increasingly important as a versatile energy carrier, energy storage medium and element of sector coupling in the context of the energy transition.
Heinz-Adalbert Krebs, Patricia Hagenweiler
Chapter 3. Risk Factors of the Power Supply
The increasingly interconnected, fast-moving, unmanageable and unpredictable world brings with it an unprecedented variety of known and as yet unknown challenges as well as risks. Among the world's most influential analyses of the global risks of our time is considered the Global Risks Report of the annual World Economic Forum held in Switzerland. The January 2021 report, as a result of the approximately 1,000 risk experts surveyed worldwide, lists for the first time seven instead of five hazards that are most likely to occur (in the order shown), including extreme weather events, failure of climate change mitigation measures, human-caused environmental damage, infectious diseases, loss of biodiversity, digital power concentration, and digital inequality.
Heinz-Adalbert Krebs, Patricia Hagenweiler
Chapter 4. Emergency Planning Power Failure
Dependence on the power supply has risen continuously over the past decades, with more and more processes in business, administration and the private sector requiring electricity. The quality of power supply in Germany is considered to be very high, especially since there have been no large-scale and prolonged power failures in Germany so far, but with the increasing risk factors, such a scenario becomes more likely, whereby the impact of such a power failure would be far-reaching for society.
Heinz-Adalbert Krebs, Patricia Hagenweiler
Chapter 5. Resilience Measures
Critical infrastructures, digitization, and an increasing number of extreme events are making society increasingly vulnerable. The networking of vital infrastructures and ICT systems that goes hand in hand with digitization means that even small disruptions can have a serious impact on the entire supply system as the possible start of a causal chain. It is therefore necessary to invest more in the development of resilient systems in the future in order to be better equipped to deal with systemic risks.
Heinz-Adalbert Krebs, Patricia Hagenweiler
Chapter 6. Resilience in Smart Cities
In recent years, risks and hazards have changed globally and nationally in the wake of digitization and climate change, with extreme natural events, technology-related hazards such as system failure or accidents, and man-made hazards such as terrorism and cybercrime playing an equally important role. In addition, vital dependencies on critical infrastructures, especially power supply and information and communication technologies (ICT), have made highly technical societies very vulnerable. In the event of a prolonged and widespread power blackout, which can be caused by the aforementioned risk factors, all other vital, so-called critical infrastructures would be disrupted or no longer able to function, so that public and private life would collapse.
Heinz-Adalbert Krebs, Patricia Hagenweiler
Chapter 7. Conclusion and Outlook
The Corona pandemic, which broke out in 2020 as the biggest global crisis in decades, has been classified by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in the “green swan” category, by which it also means possible disastrous effects of climate change. In contrast to “black swans,” “green swans” are so radical in their destructive power that they require radically new political approaches. The banking world postulates that mankind must prepare for further major crises, referring to the financial crisis in 2008.
Heinz-Adalbert Krebs, Patricia Hagenweiler
Energy Resilience and Climate Protection
Heinz-Adalbert Krebs
Dr. Patricia Hagenweiler
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