The energy sector forms a critical part of the infrastructure and is of major significance to most areas of society. Any extensive and long-lasting crisis in i.e. the electricity sector or the oil sector could mean crisis for large sections of society; the private and public sectors are both dependent on a stabile energy supply.
Many situations are managed using the normal resources available in the daily operations. When these resources are not enough to handle the situation, then the contingency plans are used. Contingency planning includes measures aimed at preventing, reducing the impact of- and rectifying circumstances in a crisis.
Contingency planning covers all forms of crisis, during peacetime and during war, caused by threats from nature, human beings and technology, including acts of terrorism. In the energy sector, the purpose of contingency planning is to maintain and ensure that the important parts of the energy supply can continue.
The different energy sectors have optimized and streamlined operations by using IT and OT systems to manage energy production and the balance and supply of energy. This has reduced costs and made the companies more efficient, but it has also increased the sectors’ vulnerability to cyber threats in general.
Cyber threats are rarely restricted to one sector only. Therefore, The Danish Energy Agency cooperates with other authorities and companies in the sectors to find collective solutions to manage these threats.
The Danish Energy Agency has made a Cyber, information, and safety strategy to create new initiatives to strengthen and ensure a high IT/OT safety in the energy sector.
Crises are often borderless. Therefore, they may affect other countries, i.e. neighboring countries with interconnected infrastructure. As such, it is necessary to look beyond national borders, and learn from each other’s experiences, in order to prevent and manage crisis situations.
Denmark participates in international cooperation concerning the energy sectors within both the EU, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and with the other Nordic countries.
The new EU regulation about electricity preparedness aims to strengthen the regional cooperation about contingency planning, which is in line with the already existing Nordic cooperation about electricity preparedness.
NordBER is a formally established Nordic cooperation, where the transmission system operators (TSO’s) and the energy authorities in the five Nordic countries coordinate their contingency planning within the electricity sector.
Denmark’s membership of both the EU and IEA means that the Danish oil preparedness is based on international rules and regulations. The existing European Council Directive on oil stocks attempts to bring the system in line with the IEA’s crisis mechanisms and internationally recognized rules. Thus, Denmark has oil stocks equivalent of 81 days oil consumption in order to be able to contribute to oil crisis management at a global level.