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[en] This study analyses the likelihood of cyber-attacks against European energy infrastructures and their potential consequences, particularly on the electricity grid. It also delivers a comparative analysis of measures taken by different European countries to protect their industries and collaborate within the European Union. The energy sector experiences an unprecedented digital transformation upsetting its activities and business models. Our energy infrastructures, sometimes more than a decade old and designed to remain functional for many years to come, now constantly interact with light digital components. The convergence of the global industrial system with the power of advanced computing and analytics reveals untapped opportunities at every step of the energy value chain. However, the introduction of digital elements in old and unprotected industrial equipment also exposes the energy industry to the cyber risk. One of the most compelling example of the type of threat the industry is facing, is the 2015 cyber-attack on the Ukraine power grid, which deprived about 200 000 people of electricity in the middle of the winter. The number and the level of technical expertise of cyber-attacks rose significantly after the discovery of the Stuxnet worm in the network of Natanz uranium enrichment site in 2010. Energy transition policies and the growing integration of renewable sources of energy will intensify this tendency, if cyber security measures are not part of the design of our future energy infrastructures. Regulators try to catch up and adapt, like in France where the authorities collaborate closely with the energy industry to set up a strict and efficient regulatory framework, and protect critical operators. This approach is adopted elsewhere in Europe, but common measures applicable to the whole European Union are essential to protect strongly interconnected energy infrastructures against a multiform threat that defies frontiers
[en] The Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive has been adopted on July 6, 2016 by the European Parliament, three years after the initial proposal by the European Commission. It paves the way for a much needed common cyber security strategy within the EU. This Edito explains the reasons why the energy industry is particularly vulnerable to cyber- attacks, and what tools this new directive brings about to protect European critical infrastructures. In about two decades, the energy industry has been deeply transformed by the digital revolution, which penetrated companies' commercial, administrative and financial branches, but also their industrial systems. From the optimization of electric grids to the precision of oil drilling, information and communication technologies (ICT) are now essential to every stage of energy production, transport and distribution processes. Data mining and analysis are increasingly considered as the energy sector's new 'black gold', and generate new activities just like the platform Predix, designed by General Electric to help energy companies (among others) collect and analyze industrial data. This silent revolution offers countless economic opportunities and paves the way for a better resource distribution and use. But it also puts physical energy infrastructures at risk
[en] Complementary solutions to national grid extensions let hope for significant improvements in the field of energy access, consistent with current economic and environmental challenges. This Note explores the regulatory and economic prerequisites that must be enhanced in order to support the emergence of mini-grid and off-grid technologies. The Millennium Development Goals (MDG) were set up in 2000 in an unprecedented international commitment to eradicate extreme poverty by the year 2015. Yet, the height goals do not specifically feature access to electricity, forgetting the role energy access plays in development. While 1.2 billion people remain in the dark, or still rely on fossil fuels, biomass and candles for lighting, electrification is a catalyst for economic development. Electricity access gives households the chance to reallocate hours searching for fuel to other activities, help domestic micro-enterprises to develop or extends child education after school by substituting diesel and kerosene, used in generators, for a safer and cheaper lighting source. In 2011, the UN launched the 'Sustainable Energy for All' (SE4All) initiative, which finally united international organisations, development banks and public and private actors around common objectives, among which achieving universal electrification by 2030. In September 2015, promoting access to a safe and sustainable energy has become one of the major missions of the Sustainable Development Goals, taking over from the MDGs. However, the progress of electrification still faces numerous challenges such as a crucial lack of institutional capacities in developing countries, instable policy frameworks, unreliable data, limited financial capacities of people in need, and a robust demographic growth. Current investments are far from reaching the 32 billion dollar per year necessary according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) to fill the mandate of the SE4All. Extending the grid is generally the most favored option considering its social and political impact, but does not always provide a sufficient service quality. Grid extensions require substantial investments in heavy infrastructures, which cannot be profitable in remote areas where population density remains low. Besides, the UN progressively highlights the fact that in places where grid connections do exist, the beneficiaries are exposed to regular blackouts. The example of China's grid extension policy implemented over its whole territory confirms that this solutions is not always adapted. Nevertheless, innovative and promising projects are flourishing in areas hardly reachable by grid extension policies. To this respect, Bangladesh has achieved remarkable results in decentralized rural electrification. Over the last decade, renewable decentralized electricity production systems developed, breaking technological barriers that have made these systems expensive, complex and unreliable for years. They benefited from a 75% drop in the price of photovoltaic panels since 2009 and a 42% drop in the price of batteries since 2008. The emergence of these systems shows the increasing interest given to a new idea of what electrification might be, based on the concept of 'energy ladder', in which the first step equals a minimum consumption level allowing the use of a few light bulbs. If this approach does not give access to the same level of electricity consumption per year than the one theoretically provided by the grid, at least it gives the opportunity for people in need to access rapidly a basic lighting service, more efficient than traditional solutions. Poorly deployed at the moment, off-grid and mini-grid systems are increasingly raising support in a context of deep rethinking of our energy systems, pushing governments to consider innovative and sustainable solutions to face the challenges of poverty and climate change. Numerous obstacles still need to be overcome though, in order to create the conditions for a stable market and stimulate the contribution of the private sector
[en] Technologies of information and communication (TICs) are present at all stages of energy production, transport and distribution, and this development is an opportunity for a better resources allocation, but also makes physical infrastructures more vulnerable to cyber-crime. The example of a cyber-attack against Ukrainian utilities in 2015 showed that this threat is an actual one, and the author outlines how energy companies are particularly vulnerable to these threats for cultural, historical and organisational reasons. Some simulations already assessed the huge costs of a cyber-attack against these infrastructures. The author then discusses the perspective and possibilities of development of a cyber-safety in Europe
At a time of open data: the data ball; Connected gas utilities; Meeting Yves Le Gelard 'The energy world is not spared by digital revolution'; The sources of open data; Data in all its states; A smiley for smart gas grids; Downstream the meter: the keys of energy demand management; 'There will be no smart city without smart inhabitant'; A single window for data; To digitise without making vulnerable: the challenges of the gas sector
[en] A set of article addresses various aspects of the development of open data and digitalisation in the energy sector. A first one comments the consequences in terms of transformation of the energy system, and the possible positive impact on energy transition, and evokes the different associated issues: data management, data collection, data analysis, data use (a sensitive issue for consumers), and the hacking threat for companies. In an interview, the Engie information system manager describes the digital transformation of the company, the different steps of this implementation, the relationship between energy efficiency and the big data, the sources of data collection, the issue of cyber-safety and of data safety. Legal texts (laws, decrees) related to open data, and public bodies in charge of this issue are indicated. An article then describes the various perspectives and possibilities created by the availability and use of large amount of data: multi-grid exploitation, energy transition at the territorial level, more flexible grids with higher performance, higher energy efficiency. The next article addresses the case of smart gas grids which will enable a better management of green gas in territories and will favour its development. The implementation of a new gas meter (Gazpar) is then addressed: it will generate millions of data which will be available to different actors. A sociologist then comments the emergence of the smart city, the evolution of consumer profiles, the development of communicating meters, and more particularly the variety of behaviours. The next article presents the ORE Agency (Energy network operator Agency), a public service body specialised in digital services which has been created by 170 electricity and gas distributors; its mission is to support energy transition in the French territories. A last article highlights the necessity of digitalisation of energy infrastructures, but also the vulnerabilities this digitalisation creates
[en] Economic growth is increasing the threat of climate change. It is triggering growth in global energy demand, which increased by 2.1% in 2017, (compared with 0.9% the previous year). This has made it difficult for countries to achieve the Paris 2015 Climate Accord objective to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius in 2050. It is now unclear how governments will be able to announce increased ambitions in line with the goal of holding global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius in 2050. World Energy Markets Observatory (WEMO) is Capgemini's annual thought leadership and research report that includes useful insights and trends that every energy and utility player should know about as they plan for the future of their business. This 20. edition is drafted mainly from public data combined with Capgemini's expertise in the energy sector. Special expertise on regulation, climate challenges, and customer behavior has been provided by research teams at De Pardieu Brocas Maffei and VaasaETT. The current edition monitors the main indicators of the electricity and gas markets in Europe, North America, Australia, and South-east Asia and reports on developments and transformations in these sectors and addresses six main topics that include: Climate change and regulatory policies, Energy transition, Infrastructure and adequacy of supply, Supply and final customer, Transformation, Financials, Key Findings. Oil prices rose as high as US$80/barrel for the first time since 2014; this represents an increase of nearly 100% since January 2016. Global natural gas demand grew by 3%, thanks in large part to abundant and relatively low-cost supplies. China alone accounted for almost 30% of growth globally. Gas prices rose in Europe, Asia and North America in 2017, but remained below the 10-year average. Despite being the major commodity least loved by analysts, global coal demand rose about 1% in 2017, reversing the trend seen over the last two years. This growth was mainly due to demand in Asia, almost entirely driven by an increase in coal-fired electricity generation. Digital adoption has huge potential to decrease costs in the industry and service sector - among others, IoT and Blockchain witnessed progressive adoption. Grids are strongly impacted by the increased share of intermittent renewables and grid operators will strongly benefit from digitization. However, cyber security still remains a big concern, but this will not prevent utilities from deploying their digital transformation plans.
[en] The 21. annual World Energy Markets Observatory (WEMO) reveals a world struggling to balance the desire for continued economic growth with the need to take deliberate and drastic steps against climate change. In 2018, global energy consumption rose 2.3 percent - nearly twice the average rate since 2010 - as driven by a robust worldwide economy. Despite the rapid growth of renewables in some regions, oil, gas and coal accounted for nearly three-quarters of the increase in total energy demand, their highest share in five years. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions climbed 2 percent globally, a significant break from the plateau of 2014 to 2016. While renewables remain the fastest-growing energy source worldwide, investments during the first half of 2019 declined 14 percent compared with the same period in 2018. Population growth, as well as a lack of anticipated technical breakthroughs over the next two decades, further contribute to a bleak medium- and long-term landscape. This year's WEMO report explores these issues in greater detail and presents new ideas for how utilities, policy-makers and private companies can embrace a long-term strategy that balances growth and change - and draws opportunity from crisis.
[en] This WEMO edition reviews an exceptional period with two distinctive phases: - In 2019 worldwide economic slowdown combined with energy transition measures resulted in some improvements regarding climate change objectives. However, the world was not on track to meet the 2015 Paris agreement objectives. - In 2020 our planet suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis that followed, plunging our world into a long period of uncertainty. This year's World Energy Markets Observatory report explores how the energy sector can balance these competing priorities. Here we present practical ideas for how utilities, policy-makers and private companies can embrace a strategy that builds short-term resiliency while improving long-term sustainability.