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U.S. Army Col. Robert Duggleby (right), program director for the Black Sea Eurasia, talks about the impact of natural disasters on critical energy infrastructure June 25 at the Energy Future and Security Seminar in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Agency for International Development).

By Professor Ruta Buneviciute
GCMC Program for Black Sea Eurasia

TBILISI, Republic of Georgia (July 22, 2014) -- The Energy Future and Security Seminar, co-organized by the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies and the Georgian Ministry of Energy, took place June 24 to 26 here.

The Seminar addressed two major aspects of energy security: transnational energy security dynamics; and, the security of critical energy infrastructure.

The event was welcomed by the Vice Prime Minister and the Minister of Energy Kakhi Kaladze, German Ambassador to Georgia Ortwin Hennig and U.S. Agency for International Development Mission director Stephen M. Haykin.

U.S. Army Col. Robert Duggleby, program director for the Black Sea Eurasia, welcomed the participants on behalf of the Marshall Center.  Duggleby and Professor Ruta Buneviciute moderated and orchestrated the three-day seminar.

A panel of experts from the European Commission, Kazakhstan, Turkey and the U.S. Department of Energy discussed the changing dynamics of energy markets and the impact this change makes to national and regional solutions. It showed that the US energy revolution in the first place, but also the new European Union energy strategy have a potential to become the game changers, which will dramatically impact the current energy security situation.

The participants had an opportunity to learn about the challenges to energy security in South Caucasus, Central Asia, and the initiative to create regional energy security cooperation in the South East Europe and to analyze the impact of Ukrainian energy security challenges to a wider regional energy security.

During the second day, the seminar addressed challenges to the security of infrastructure and impact of technological change on the energy system design. Duggleby gave a presentation about the impact of natural disasters on critical energy infrastructure based on the case study of the Hiroshima Nuclear Power Plant. His presentation was followed by the analysis of threats that come from criminal and terrorist activity as recorded in the Energy Infrastructure Attack.

Database composed at the Zurich Center for Security Studies. Alessandro Scheffler closed the second day’s discussion with a case study on how new technologies empower energy transition in Germany.

The speakers and participants also convened in working groups for more specific discussions and held a panel discussion based on the results of these debates.