Affordable and Clean Energy

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Amanda Lange Salvia, Tony Wall

Creating Resilience, Minimizing Vulnerability of Communities

Living reference work entry



A resilient system is characterized by including a community of humans (or other living beings), who provide the ability and capacity for necessary self-organization and adaption. Resilience is the active ability of a system, to cope with the unexpected, especially with disruptive challenges through adaption. Here adaption is a conscious and active process involving reorganization, not an automatic response.

Impact or disruptive challenge

An impact or disruptive challenge is characterized by the combination of being an unexpected event affecting a system and having the potential to harm or destroy this system.


Vulnerability defines the degree to which a system is susceptible to adverse effects and unable to cope with them. This includes solely technical systems (machines) as well as humans or communities.


The degree to which a system can sustain an impact without being changed substantially or irreversibly is its robustness. Impacts that...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Adger WN (2006) Vulnerability. Glob Environ Chang 16:268–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Altherr LC, Brötz N, Dietrich I et al (2018) Resilience in mechanical engineering – a concept for controlling uncertainty during design, production and usage phase of load bearing structures. Appl Mech Mater 885:187–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ansar A, Flyvbjerg B, Budzier A, Lunn D (2014) Should we build more large dams? The actual cost of hydropower megaproject development. Energy Policy 69:43–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bridle J (2018) New dark age. Technology and the end of the future. Verso, LondonGoogle Scholar
  5. Briggs CM (2012) Climate security, risk assessment and military planning. Int Aff 88:1049–1064CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carley S, Evans TP, Graff M, Knoisky DM (2018) A framework for evaluating geographic disparities in energy transition vulnerability. Nat Energy 3:621–627CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chang SE, McDaniels T, Fox J et al (2014) Toward disaster-resilient cities: characterizing resilience of infrastructure systems with expert judgments. Risk Anal 34:416–434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cherp A, Jewell J (2014) The concept of energy security: beyond the four as. Energy Policy 75:415–421CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gunderson LH (2000) Ecological resilience – in theory and application. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 31:425–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. IEC. IEC White Paper: stable grid operations in a future of distributed electric power. International Electrotechnical Comission, Geneva.
  11. IEC. IEC White Paper: orchestrating infrastructure for sustainable Smart Cities. International Electrotechnical Comission, Geneva.
  12. IEC. IEC White Paper: microgrids for disaster preparedness and recovery, with electricity continuity plans and systems. International Electrotechnical Comission, Geneva.
  13. IPCC (2019) Climate change and land. An IPCC Special Report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems. Geneva.
  14. ISO 12100 (2010) Safety of machinery – General principles for design – Risk assessment and risk reduction. International Organization for Standardization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  15. ISO 31000 (2018) Risk management – Guidelines. International Organization for Standardization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  16. IEC/ISO 31010 (2019) Risk management – Risk assessment techniques. International Electrotechnical Comission, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  17. Kalisch R, Baker DG, Basten U et al (2017) The resilience framework as a strategy to combat stress-related disorders. Nat Hum Behav 1:784–790CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kisel E, Hamburg A, Leppiman A, Ots M (2016) Concept for energy security matrix. Energy Polica 95:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Martsauskas L, Augutis J, Krkstolaitis R (2018) Methodology for energy security assessment considering energy system resilience to disruptions. Energ Strat Rev 22:106–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Molyneaux L, Brown C, Wagner L, Foster F (2016) Measuring resilience in energy systems: insights from a range of disciplines. Renew Sust Energ Rev 59:1068–1079CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Narbel PA, Hansen JP, Lien RR (2014) Energy technologies and economics. Springer, HeidelbergCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. O’Brien G, Hope A (2010) Localism and energy: negotiating approaches to embedding resilience in energy systems. Energy Policy 38:7550–7558CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Pal JS, Eltahir AAB (2016) Future temperature in Southwest Asia projected to exceed a threshold for human adaptability. Nat Clim Chang 6:197–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Palmer G. Floyd J (2020) Energy Storage and Civilisation. A Systems Approach. Springer, ChamGoogle Scholar
  25. Panteli M, Mancarella P (2015) Influence of extreme weather and climate change on the resilience of power systems: impacts and possible mitigation strategies. Electr Power Syst Res 127:259–270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Perkins JH (2017) Changing energy. The transition to a sustainable future. University of California Press, OaklandGoogle Scholar
  27. Rao ND, Min J, Mastrucci A (2019) Energy requirements for decent living in India, Brazil and South Africa. Nat Energy 4:1025–1032CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sen A (2000) The discipline of cost benefit analysis. J Leg Stud 29:931–952CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Siders AR, Hino M, Mach KJ (2019) The case for strategic and managed climate retreat. Science 365:761–763CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Smith P, Hutchinson D, Sterbenz JPG (2011) Network resilience: a systematic approach. IEEE Commun 49:88–97Google Scholar
  31. Smil V (2017) Energy and Civilisation. A History. The MIT Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  32. Su Y, Gagné K (2019) Understanding and responding to the combined impact of climate change and armed conflict on people’s lives. A Literature Review Prepared for the ICRC. International Comittee of the Red Cross, Geneva.Google Scholar
  33. Taleb NN, Bar-Yam Y, Douady R et al (2014) The precautionary principle: fragility and black swans from policy actions.
  34. Tierny K (2014) The social roots of risk. Producing disasters, promoting resilience. Stanford University Press, Palo AltoGoogle Scholar
  35. United Nations (2015) Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction 2015–2030.
  36. Walker B, Holling CS, Carpenter SR, Kinzig A (2005) Resilience, adaptability and transformability in social–ecological systems. Ecology and Society 9.
  37. Wang Y, Chen C, Wang J, Baldick R (2016) Research on resilience of power systems under natural disasters – a review. IEEE Trans Power Syst 31:1604–1613CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wrathall DJ, Mueller V, Clark PU et al (2019) Meeting the looming policy challenge of sea-level change and human migration. Nat Clim Chang 9:898–903CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fachbereich Maschinenbau und KunststofftechnikHochschule DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Elisa Conticelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ArchitectureAlma Mater Studiorum – University of BolognaBolognaItaly