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Security and Resilience

Security and Resilience

Future energy systems are often framed as confronting a trilemma. They need to provide energy that is:

  • affordable
  • sustainable
  • secure

These goals are often in conflict, requiring energy security research to provide a solution.

Many of the techniques that have ensured secure energy supplies in the past are unsustainable because they rely on fossil fuels.

Some of the proposed solutions, such as building a fleet of new nuclear power plants, would cause a significant increase in energy bills for customers. The Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, currently under construction, will generate the most expensive electricity in the world.

Security and Resilliance

New systems, new threats

In future systems, most energy will be supplied from intermittent renewable generation. This means we need new approaches to ensure energy is available when required.

Future systems also face new threats:

  • the shift towards electric heating and transport will change how and when energy is used
  • a changing climate will affect both supply and demand
  • digitisation could make the system vulnerable to cyber threats.

In our energy security research, we are engaged in a wide range of activities – from molecular technology to national policy – to help address these challenges of security and resilience.