The transformation of energy systems towards renewable, decentralized and participatory structures is now clearly visible and irreversible beyond Europe. Currently, a multitude of innovative energy technologies being researched or used increase the possibilities (but also the complexity) of providing energy services to the customer. Supported by the shared commitment to sustainability and the conservation of resources, there are already a wide variety of technological concepts available that are well-intentioned (also supported by a large number of studies), but in part also un-reflected, touted as future "patent-solutions": e.g. energy self-sufficiency (accounted or physical), sector coupling with increasing dominance of electricity generation in the energy system ("Power to X"), electro-mobility as a contribution to climate protection, smart "prosumer" applications, etc. A variety of further examples could be enumerated at this point. Whether a large-scale rollout of the current and foreseeable technological solutions actually leads in the long term to the desired goal of a more sustainable, robust and participatory energy system, or if only currently existing dependencies (e.g. currently: fossil fuels; in the future: mineral raw materials), distortions and problems shift, has not yet been adequately researched. Currently there are only isolated, generalized, works in this direction.
The central objective of this research project is to carry out a systematic analysis of potential threats and possible attacks on a supposedly more sustainable, future Austrian energy system. Beyond the techno-economic and ecological analysis (e.g. sabotage, cyber / hacker attacks, climate and weather extremes, supply bottlenecks of future raw material procurement, material flows / ecological footprints), a special focus will be placed on the socio-economic dimension of the energy transition. In addition to aspects of the future avoidance of public acceptance failures and governance failures of decision-makers, the discussion also sheds light on ethical issues (e.g. the prevention of child labor or general certification in the procurement of raw materials), which have never been discussed. The socio-economic analyzes in this project should also give more detailed insight in terms of acceptance, whether previously assumed extrapolations in energy scenarios are actually justified or under what conditions they apply.
The results include a systematic analysis of potential threats and possible attacks on the Austrian energy system as well as a rough analysis of possible interactions and conflicting goals when implementing risk minimization strategies per threat scenario / attack vector. Building on this, further detailed research questions will be formulated together with the respective stakeholders, which must be dealt with in the future in order to implement the long- term structures of the Austrian energy transition both, techno-economically and ecologically as well as socially and ethically tolerable.
Priv.-Doz. Dr. Hans Auer
Technische Universität Wien
Institute of Energy Systems and Electrical Drives
Energy Economics Group (EEG)
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Nina Hampl
Institute of Production-, Energy and Environmental Managment
Department of Sustainable Energy Management