Energy Security

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Because most of the world's oil and natural gas resources are concentrated in a small number of countries, many nations have economic, social, and geopolitical concerns about energy dependence. RAND research explores options for improving energy security—e.g., the use of domestically available alternative or renewable energy sources.

  • Engineer Anu Narayanan at the RAND office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, January 21, 2020, photo by Jim Mendenhall/Pro Photography Network

    Q&A

    Thinking Outside the Grid: Q&A with Anu Narayanan

    Mar 5, 2020

    Anu Narayanan, an engineer at RAND, is a specialist in what-ifs. Her research focuses on critical infrastructure and national security. In this interview, she discusses her latest work that explores what would happen if a cyberattacker tried to take down the power grid.

  • A young man in drought conditions in Ethiopia

    Essay

    The Hot Spots of the World

    Oct 13, 2016

    Scarcity of food, energy, and water endangers the lives of millions. So RAND created a tool with the potential to help make aid initiatives more effective.

Explore Energy Security

  • China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif exchange documents during the signing ceremony of a 25-year cooperation agreement, in Tehran, Iran March 27, 2021, photo by Majid Asgaripour/WANA via Reuters

    Commentary

    China Does Not Have to Be America's Enemy in the Middle East

    China and Iran made a deal in which China promised to boost its investment in Iranian infrastructure in exchange for a steady supply of oil. This uptick in Chinese influence does not necessarily erode U.S. power in the region. The United States may even find overlapping interests with China since both have a stake in containing conflicts and instability.

    Apr 19, 2021

  • Workers on a bridge over the Grand River near Portland, Michigan, February 12, 2021, photo by Kristi Tanner/Detroit Free Press/TNS/ABACAPRESS.COM via Reuters

    Commentary

    Now Is (Finally) the Time to Future-Proof Our Infrastructure

    The world is barreling toward a more volatile climate with infrastructure designed for the past. With infrastructure widely expected to be prioritized in Congress soon, every infrastructure bill is also a climate bill. It is critical that we make our infrastructure climate-safe.

    Apr 1, 2021

  • Hawaiian Electric contractors deliver six 159-ton generators to the 50-megawatt power plant being constructed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, July 20, 2017, photo courtesy of Hawaiian Electric Company via U.S. Defense Department

    Commentary

    The Pentagon Could Help Improve Resilience of the U.S. Electric Grid

    The resilience and robustness of the U.S. electric grid needs to be improved, especially given the likely increased occurrence and magnitude of natural disasters due to climate change. This is where government entities that operate large facilities in the United States, such as the Department of Defense, can potentially play a role.

    Mar 25, 2021

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Infrastructure Resilience to Navigate Increasingly Uncertain and Complex Conditions in the Anthropocene

    Resilience theory can help infrastructure managers navigate increasing complexity of the systems and environments in which they operate.

    Mar 4, 2021

  • Blog

    Russian Propaganda, Domestic Terrorism, America's Electric Grid: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how Americans react to Russian memes on Facebook, the possibility of domestic terrorism during election season, protecting the U.S. electric grid, and more.

    Oct 16, 2020

  • Man wearing a hard hat facing away looking at electricity pylons and wires, photo by xijian/Getty Images

    Commentary

    The Downside of a Lean Electric Grid

    The electric grid is central to U.S. national security. Recent disasters provide an example of the downsides of leanness. It's more costly to be less lean, but given our dependence on the electric grid and the increasing prevalence of disasters, safety and resilience may be greater priorities.

    Oct 13, 2020

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Maintaining Critical Infrastructure Resilience to Natural Hazards During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Hurricane Preparations by US Energy Companies

    This article describes the ways that an energy organization, the regional transmission operator PJM, is preparing for hurricanes during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article has implications for policy makers working to maintain infrastructure resilience to natural hazards during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Aug 11, 2020

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: March-April 2020

    Feature stories spotlight how technology can better serve the world's displaced people, the promise of supportive housing for people with mental illness, and a RAND climate scientist's personal brush with wildfire.

    Mar 9, 2020

  • Blog

    U.S.-Turkish Relations, Airports, Opioids: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the future of the U.S.-Turkish partnership, helping America's commercial airports meet rising demand, the opioid crisis, and more.

    Jan 17, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    Relationships between the economy and national security: Analysis and considerations for economic security policy in the Netherlands

    This study examines the relationship between the economy and national security in the Netherlands, with a focus on the characteristics and performance of the Dutch economy and the consequences of this for its national security.

    Jan 14, 2020

  • Electric power lines behind a network illustration, photo by kosssmosss/Adobe Stock

    Report

    Options for Deterring Attacks Against the Power Grid

    The U.S. military relies on electric power to accomplish critical missions. And most of the electricity consumed by installations in the continental United States comes from the commercial grid. How can the Defense Department protect the power grid from physical and cyber attacks?

    Jan 6, 2020

  • MNF-S forces defend Panama Canal during PANAMAX exercise, photo by TSgt Heather Redman/DVIDS

    Report

    Valuing Air Force Electric Power Resilience

    How well do current Air Force processes evaluate power resilience investments? A proposed framework identifies cost- and performance-related information in a clear manner that facilitates decisionmaking.

    Jun 3, 2019

  • Water tank in M'bwetu Village, Malawai

    Journal Article

    Examining the Food-Energy-Water and Conflict Nexus

    This article provides an in-depth review of the interactions between insecurity and conflict within the component sectors of the FEW nexus.

    Jan 30, 2018

  • Power plant operations at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska

    Report

    Air Force Installation Energy Assurance: An Assessment Framework

    This report presents a framework that mission owners and civil engineers at Air Force installations can use to assess their level of energy assurance.

    Nov 6, 2017

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: March-April 2017

    This issue highlights RAND research on the significant toll that poor sleep takes on society; ways to maximize benefits of investments in electricity infrastructure; social determinants of health; and RAND's new office in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Mar 7, 2017

  • Dissertation

    Dissertation

    Let There Be Light: Green Industrial Policy and Energy Access in India

    Explores the competitiveness of India's domestic manufacturing across the supply chain; barriers and enablers to developing a domestic industry; and the cost of industrial policy support.

    Feb 27, 2017

  • U.S. and Polish soldiers meet after a welcoming ceremony for U.S. troops deployed as part of a NATO buildup in Eastern Europe, Zagan, Poland, January 14, 2017

    Report

    How Are European Countries Vulnerable to Russia?

    Russia's aggression against Ukraine has highlighted potential threats to NATO and the EU. But European countries differ in how susceptible they are to possible Russian actions.

    Jan 18, 2017

  • News Release

    News Release

    China Invests Warily in Middle East

    China endeavors to protect its expanding interests in the Middle East by not taking sides in conflicts and controversies. The United States should encourage China to become more involved in efforts to improve regional stability while reassuring partners of its own commitment to the region.

    Dec 5, 2016

  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and UAE's deputy commander-in-chief of the armed forces, meets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, December 14, 2015

    Report

    China Invests Warily in the Middle East

    China endeavors to protect its expanding interests in the Middle East by not taking sides in conflicts and controversies. The United States should encourage China to get more involved in efforts to improve regional stability while reassuring partners of its own commitment to the region.

    Dec 5, 2016