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EEG invited research proposals to explore the interdependencies between the resilience of populations and the resilience of power systems to large scale health crises such as COVID 19 and through that to propose policy lessons for future energy system planning.
The impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic have and will be widespread across all sectors and economies, including the power sector. Resilience to external shocks such as COVID 19 will be in part underpinned by the capacity of key systems, such as power supplies, to provide critical services. In the case of power supplies that would be reliable and sufficient power to provide energy services not just to a health sector under unprecedented levels of stress, but also to ensure that key supply chains continue to function, along with those sections of the economy that can remain active, that important governance and security capabilities are supported and that power supplies are flexible enough to cope with significant changes in demand patterns as, for example, quarantine shut downs lead to reductions in commercial demands and increases in domestic ones.
While external shocks such as the COVID 19 pandemic throw into sharp relief how dependent the resilience of populations is on adequately functioning systems such as power supplies, the resilience of those systems themselves are also potentially affected by such crises. In the case of power supplies, stressors emerging from the COVID 19 pandemic that may undermine system resilience range from depleted work forces due to quarantine or interruptions to supply chains through to rapid changes in demand patterns and short term government relief packages for businesses impacting on the financial viability of power producers.
The COVID 19 pandemic may well reveal new issues to consider in future approaches to energy system planning, whether they relate to better understanding of the role power supplies play in underpinning the resilience of societies to pandemics or the impact that such global health crises has on the resilience of power systems themselves.
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