Threats for the supply of electricity have changed dramatically throughout the last decade: additional to the natural and accidental ones, the new threat of malicious attacks needs to be considered. Such attacks might be jointly imparted so as to affect large portions of the European grid, make repair difficult and cause huge societal impact. The outstanding importance and the far more complex level of interconnectivity of electricity distribution / transmission / generation – compared to the supply through other energy carriers - makes the development of a highly focused toolkit for its protection an essential and urgent task. SESAME develops a Decision Support System (DSS) for the protection of the European power system and applies it to two regional electricity grids, Austria and Romania. This DSS enables to:
• identify the vulnerabilities and to detect their origins,
• estimate the damage / impact of real or simulated network failures,
• identify the possible measures for prevention of outages and acceleration of automatic restoration,
• rank these measures according to their effectiveness and their cost-benefit ratios,
• carry out contingency analyses of the transmission / distribution network and generation facilities,
• detect long-term erroneous trends in the security of energy supply and counteract against them by adjusting the market mechanisms.
There do not exist State-of-the-Art approaches incorporating all of these core dimensions of the problem: the increase in complexity of the security of energy supply requires a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary solution. SESAME brings together the most distinguished experts in the fields of power network security, technology policy and regulatory economics, impact assessment of disasters, network simulation software and knowledge engineering. All partners have proven their excellence in complex security research in earlier cooperative projects and most of them have already worked together successfully.