Energy Infrastructure Security in the Digital Age

Energy Infrastructure Security in the Digital Age

Tianxing Cai (Lamar University, Beaumont, TX, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJPADA.2018040102


In this article, the current application of information technology in the energy infrastructure security will be introduced. The digital system can help us to identify the framework of energy infrastructure security, characterize the energy network, generate the strategy of self-recovery and handle the uncertainty of identified damage. It will also integrate the comprehensive evaluation of population distribution, roadway safety, the constraint of transportation routes, transportation capacity and capability for the optimal emergency response planning with the minimal potential impact to the community for the management of intelligent and secure energy infrastructure.
Article Preview

Energy Infrastructure Security

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS, 2015), the energy infrastructure is divided into three interrelated segments, including: electricity, petroleum, and natural gas. The U.S. electricity segment contains more than 6,413 power plants (this includes 3,273 traditional electric utilities and 1,738 nonutility power producers) with approximately 1,075 gigawatts of installed generation. Approximately 48 percent of electricity is produced by combusting coal (primarily transported by rail), 20 percent in nuclear power plants, and 22 percent by combusting natural gas. The remaining generation is provided by hydroelectric plants (6 percent), oil (1 percent), and renewable sources (solar, wind, and geothermal) (3 percent). The heavy reliance on pipelines to distribute products across the nation highlights the interdependencies between the Energy and Transportation Systems Sector. The reliance of virtually all industries on electric power and fuels means that all sectors have some dependence on the Energy Sector. The Energy Sector is well aware of its vulnerabilities and is leading a significant voluntary effort to increase its planning and preparedness. Cooperation through industry groups has resulted in substantial information sharing of best practices across the sector. Many sector owners and operators have extensive experience abroad with infrastructure protection and have more recently focused their attention on cyber-security.

The definition of national security can be regarded as “…the protection or the safety of a country’s secrets and its citizens…” (Macmillan Dictionary, 2015). Therefore, the national security depends on the government and its parliaments to protect the state and its citizens against all kind of national crises. The common elements of national security are military security, political security, economic security, environmental security, security of energy and natural resources, cyber-security, empowerment of women (Romm, 1993; Paleri, 2008; Lippmann, 1943; Buzan, Wver & Wilde, 1997;Diamond, 2010; Rollins, John, and Henning, 2009; Lemmon, 2013; Devanny & Harris, 2014; Davis, 2010; Taylor, 1974; US NATO Military Terminology Group,2010; Obama, 2010). Energy security is the central part between national security and the accessibility of natural resources for energy consumption.

Complete Article List

Search this Journal:
Open Access Articles: Forthcoming
Volume 6: 4 Issues (2019): Forthcoming, Available for Pre-Order
Volume 5: 4 Issues (2018): 2 Released, 2 Forthcoming
Volume 4: 4 Issues (2017)
Volume 3: 4 Issues (2016)
Volume 2: 4 Issues (2015)
Volume 1: 4 Issues (2014)
View Complete Journal Contents Listing