Developing a Resilience Model for North America’s Energy Sector Infrastructure

The nation’s prominence is largely enabled by broad access to abundant, reliable, and affordable energy. It’s this modern electric power system that drives our digital economy and elevates our health, safety, and national security. Threats to our energy infrastructure, from extreme weather events to cyber and physical attacks, continue to grow and evolve.

To address these concerns, at the request of Congress, the Office of Electricity has released its report on the development of the North American Energy Resilience Model, or NAERM, which will provide a comprehensive resilience modeling system for the North American energy sector and its associated infrastructure. This effort will advance existing capabilities to model, simulate, and assess the behavior of electric power systems, as well as associated dependencies on natural gas, and other critical energy infrastructures.

Additionally, the NAERM will enable the systematic identification of threats to the nation’s energy infrastructure, the development of market approaches for resilience investments to reduce exposure to these threats, and enhanced situational awareness and sophisticated analytics to minimize the impact of threats and increase resiliency as they evolve in real time. The ultimate goal of the project is to provide real-time situational awareness and analysis capabilities for emergency events and optimal operations and recovery, enabling the Federal Government and industry to quickly and effectively prepare and respond.

DOE’s unique national perspective and its critical infrastructure protection responsibilities for the energy sector will be an essential component of success as expertise across various sectors and relevant stakeholder groups is integrated. While there is some precedent for these activities, industry experts need to develop a coordinated understanding of the issues and practices on a regional basis to ensure that threat and consequence models are realistic and representative of actual system responses. Ultimately, the NAERM capability will be a first-of-its-kind tool to improve energy sector resilience for the well-being of our citizens and national security.

Learn more about the NAERM here.

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