Security of European Electricity Systems: Conceptualizing the Assessment Criteria and Core Indicators

Rabindra Nepal*, Tooraj Jamasb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Electricity systems have a central role to play in the transition towards a low carbon economy and the integration of renewable energy sources in the European Union (EU). However, European electricity networks face a diverse set of existing and new risks that can hamper the energy security of the member countries. This paper qualitatively and quantitatively assesses these risks given the changing operating framework characterized by market liberalization and network interconnectedness. Within this context, the paper primarily focuses on the risks from exceptional events and threats to European electricity systems. A simple ex ante risk assessment matrix is proposed to gauge the network risks and take preventative measures. This assessment mechanism can complement the existing ex post reliability and quality of supply performance standards and indicators used by policymakers and practitioners. The analysis presented in this paper suggests that economic risks pose the most serious and challenging threat to the evolving European electricity system.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection
Issue number3-4
Pages (from-to)182-196
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Electricity networks
  • European Union
  • Energy security
  • Risks
  • Regulation

Cite this