William Polen is Senior Director at the United States Energy Association.
Annabelle Lee is chief cybersecurity specialist at Nevermore Security.
Energy security in Eastern Europe — the ability to provide access to affordable and reliable sources of primary and secondary energy to the population — is a function of natural resource endowment, the ability of markets to generate capital investment required to build out energy infrastructure, the geopolitics of natural gas and electric power transmission, and the security of power and gas grids.
For the fragile young democracies of the region (Armenia, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Ukraine) a secure and diversified supply of energy resources is essential to support long term economic growth and social cohesion.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States Energy Association (USEA), in cooperation with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has worked in Eastern Europe to enhance energy security through the Energy Technology and Governance (ETAG) Program.
This is the second of a series of articles that describes the ETAG Program, its work in the region, and its tangible benefits to the United States.
Cybersecurity is Energy Security
Though power grids in Eastern Europe are less automated than their Western European counterparts, the potential disruption to electricity service resulting from a cyberattack on critical infrastructure is a significant and immediate challenge to national and regional energy security.