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SCNP Strategic Infrastructure Security
Exin Infrastructure resources
Killexams : Exin Infrastructure resources - BingNews Search results Killexams : Exin Infrastructure resources - BingNews Killexams : The infrastructure imperative

India will assume the G20 presidency beginning December 2022. G20 countries, in their presidencies, have set the agenda for infrastructure, such as Roadmap to Infrastructure as an Asset class (Argentina, 2018), Principles of Quality Infrastructure Investment (Japan, 2019), InfraTech (Saudi Arabia, 2020), and Financing Sustainable Infrastructure for Recovery (Italy, 2021). The Indian G20 presidency is an occasion for India to set the infrastructure agenda for itself and the world. I believe that India should be flagging the following inter-related themes—reasonable user charges for infrastructure services; autonomous regulation of infrastructure; and asset recycling and brownfield asset monetisation (BAM).

Reasonable user charges for infrastructure services
India has the second largest infrastructure deficit in the world (after Brazil) as it has grown at a rapid pace of over 6% since the early 1990s (which adds to the demand for infrastructure) without commensurate increase in supply. This infrastructure deficit is reflected in, for example, congestion across transport sectors (roads, railways, airports)—the majority of sections of Indian Railways in both the Delhi-Howrah and the Delhi-Mumbai routes have over 150% capacity utilisation, leading to slow average speeds of trains (mainly freight). To Boost the supply of infrastructure, one needs to put more resources into infrastructure.

Reasonable user charges are necessary for augmenting infrastructure financing, financial viability of infrastructure service providers, and for environmental and resource use sustainability. Take the case of rapid depletion of groundwater in many areas across the country, partly because of zero or very low user charges being imposed on ground water extractors. This leads to, inter alia, over-use and wastage of a precious resource.

Also Read: G20 pledges coordinated actions for strong global economic recovery

Very often, zero- or low- user charges are justified in the name of the poor that they would be unable to afford them. Studies have shown that provision of piped water supply and grid-based electricity is highly positively correlated with income levels, meaning that the poorest section of the population is largely unconnected to public sources of supply and ends up paying much more from private sources (like water tankers or stand-posts). The policy implication is to provide connection subsidies and not consumption subsidies (which is what low pricing of public water supply amounts to).

Besides the environmental sustainability and resource use efficiency that would emanate from reasonable user prices, this policy priority has immense resource generation potential. Let us take the case of power sector. There is a revenue gap of Rs 0.72 per unit of electricity consumed in the country. The total energy generated in the country in 2018-2019 was 1,547 billion units, of which about 22% was lost in aggregate technical & commercial losses. So, if a cost-recovering tariff is imposed in the power sector, the additional potential revenue generation is to the extent of Rs 870 billion per annum, more than enough to wipe off the entire losses of the power sector.

Autonomous regulation of infrastructure
Much of infrastructure is sunk costs (there is little alternative use of assets like roads, water pipes, etc after provisioning). Therefore, regulatory risks manifested in tariff risks (regulators will not impose cost-recovering tariffs) come into play—as we have seen, in the power sector, there is a loss of `0.72 per unit of electricity consumed in the country.

Though the Indian infrastructure regulators (electricity, telecom, airports, and ports) have decided on a number of knotty issues, their overall record, in common with the rest of the world, is not perfect. This increases risk premium and the cost of capital. As India and the world opens up more sectors to private participation, the private sector would demand autonomous infrastructure regulation.

Here, two lessons, one domestic and the other international, may be instructive. The most happening sector in Indian infrastructure is the road sector (as per World Bank’s Private Participation in Infrastructure database, there are 502 PPP road projects—the highest in the world—accounting for an investment of $92 billion), where there is regulation by contract and the sector does not have an independent sectoral regulator. This goes on to show that an independent sectoral regulator is neither necessary nor sufficient to spawn private participation in infrastructure. The world-wide trend is towards multi-sectoral regulators as the regulatory role (tariff setting and service obligations) is common across infrastructure sectors, and such institutions build regulatory capacity, conserve resources and prevent regulatory capture.

Asset recycling and brownfield asset monetisation
As we have seen, India has the second largest infrastructure deficit in the world. India also has a large stock of brownfield assets across infrastructure sectors. The basic idea of BAM is to augment infrastructure resources through brownfield asset recycling for accelerated greenfield investment by freeing up funds tied up in de-risked brownfield public sector assets such as telecom towers, roads, airports, railway tracks, power transmission lines, power plants, gas and oil pipelines etc, by transferring these infrastructure assets to a trust (infrastructure investment trusts or InvITs) or a corporate structure (toll-operate-transfer, TOT), which receive investment from institutional investors like pension and insurance funds, and high net-worth individuals, against a capital consideration which captures value of future cash flows from these underlying assets. In such transactions, capital value realised is often more than the sum total of discounted cash flows as such arrangements also unlock efficiencies. Many countries including India (National Monetisation Pipeline, 2021), Australia, and the US are working towards expanding the role of BAM.

The above themes are relevant for India and the world and the Indian G20 presidency offers a chance for mainstreaming them to augment infrastructure and its financing.

The author is Senior economic advisor, GoI, and former joint secretary (infrastructure policy & finance), Union ministry of finance Views are personal

Fri, 18 Nov 2022 08:34:00 -0600 en text/html
Killexams : Why using IaC alone is a half-baked infrastructure strategy

The shift to a developer-centric vision of infrastructure that started about 15 years ago offered users frequent updates and a way to simplify API-centric automation. Infrastructure as Code (IaC) became the standard method for software developers to describe and deploy cloud infrastructure. While on the surface, having more freedom sounds like a nearly utopian scenario for developers, it has become a nightmare for operations teams who are now tasked with understanding and managing the infrastructure and the underpinning tools in the DevOps toolchain. As cloud infrastructure became commoditized, new limitations emerged alongside the broader adoption of IaC, limitations that can have negative impacts for the overall business.

If you think of application environments like a pizza (or in my case, a vegan pizza), IaC is just the unbaked dough, and the individual IaC files alone are simply flour, salt, yeast, water and so on. Without the other necessary components like the data, network topology, cloud services and environment services – the toppings, if you will – you don’t have a complete environment. Additionally, the need for proper governance, cost controls, and improved cross-team collaboration has become even more critical. 

While the needs of developers are application-centric, IaC is infrastructure-centric. There is a disconnect between the expectations of the development and operations teams that creates delays, security risks, and friction between those two teams. For IaC to be used effectively, securely and in a scalable manner, there are some challenges that need to be addressed.

Let’s discuss the top four challenges of IaC and how developer and DevOps teams can overcome these pain points and obstacles using Environments-as-a-Service (EaaS). 

Integrating IaC assets 

One of today’s central challenges is in generating a pipeline that provides a way to deploy infrastructure assets continuously and consistently. Many DevOps organizations are sitting on top of mountains of IaC files, and it’s a monumental task for these teams to understand, track and deploy the right infrastructure for the right use case. 

EaaS solves this problem by automating the process of discovering, identifying, and modeling infrastructure into complete, automated environments that include all the elements that the end user requires. 

Furthermore, EaaS solutions eliminate the application environment bottleneck and enable faster innovation at scale by defining elements in modular templates, otherwise known as “blueprints,” and help organizations manage the environments throughout the entire application life cycle. Existing IaC scripts can easily be imported and managed in an infrastructure stack, or users can choose to build “blueprints” from scratch. 

Distributing the right environments to the right developers

Using the wrong environment definitions in different stages of the SDLC is like using a chainsaw to slice your pizza; it won’t get the job done right and could create more problems. It’s crucial for developers to have access to properly configured environments for their use case. Developers don’t necessarily have the expertise to properly configure environments. Yet, in some cases, they’re expected to, or they attempt to do it because there aren’t enough people in their organization with the cloud infrastructure skills to do so in a timely manner. The result could be an environment that’s horribly misconfigured like putting sauce on top of your pizza (sorry, Chicago) or even worse, pineapple and ham (not sorry).

Organizations should distribute complete environments to their developers with “baked-in” components and customized policies and permissions. To accomplish this, most EaaS solutions have the ability to provide a self-service environment catalog that simplifies this process, while also dramatically reducing provisioning times. Operations teams can take advantage of role-based policies, so developers have access only to the environments that are appropriate for their use case, ensuring consistency throughout the pipeline.  Consumption of this service should be available via command line or API, so it can seamlessly integrate into your CI/CD pipeline.

Managing the environment life cycle & controlling costs 

The orchestration of environments is only one piece of the pie. It has to be served, consumed, and then, of course, you have to clean up afterward. In addition to configuring and serving up the right environments for the developers to consume, EaaS allows for seamless enforcement of policy, compliance, and governance throughout the entire environment life cycle, providing information on how infrastructure is being used. During deployment, end users can set the environments for a specified runtime, automating teardown once resources are no longer required to ensure the leanest possible consumption of cloud resources. 

We all know there’s no such thing as a free lunch, so understanding and managing cloud resource costs is a crucial element of the full environment life cycle and demonstrates the business value of a company’s infrastructure. By leveraging auto-tagging and custom-tagging capabilities, businesses can easily track how environments are deployed in a centralized way, providing complete operational transparency, and ensuring resources are being provisioned in line with an organization’s prescribed standards. Understanding the business context behind cloud resource consumption allows businesses to optimize costs and better align those expenses with specific projects, applications, or development teams.

Creating a reliable IaC infrastructure 

There are several critical steps to ensure infrastructure reliability. This includes depositing IaC code into a source control repository, versioning it, running tests against it, packaging it, and deploying it in a testing environment – all before delivering it to production in a safe, secure, and repeatable manner. 

In maintaining a consistent and repeatable application architecture, the objective is to treat IaC like any application code. You can meet the changing needs of software development by creating a continuous IaC infrastructure pipeline that is interwoven with the software development and delivery process, leveraging best practices from software delivery, and transposing them to the infrastructure delivery process.

To ensure that your infrastructure is reliable, you must consider the larger picture. IaC has become ubiquitous and has certainly advanced infrastructure provisioning, but that’s where it ends. Organizations need to start thinking about not just configuring and provisioning infrastructure but managing the entire life cycle of complete environments to realize the true value of infrastructure. Just like you wouldn’t go to a pizza parlor and order a blob of raw dough, you wouldn’t serve your developers just the infrastructure – they need the complete environment.

Using EaaS, developers are able to achieve their project objectives, support the entire stack, integrate IaC assets, and deliver comprehensive environments needed to orchestrate the infrastructure life cycle. Buon appetito!

Tue, 22 Nov 2022 10:00:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Killexams : Building a Sustainable Airline Fuel Infrastructure

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at infrastructure for sustainable fuel,'s short-term rentals, and Norwegian Cruise Line's recovery.

Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, November 9. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

European authorities are preparing legislation requiring airlines to use more sustainable fuel by 2030 in efforts to make aviation more environmentally friendly. But to accomplish that ambitious goal, American Express Global Business Travel CEO Paul Abbott argues the travel industry needs to start securing money now to build sustainable fuel plants, reports Corporate Travel Editor Matthew Parsons.

Speaking at the Global Business Travel Association’s Sustainability Summit on Tuesday, Abbott said 300 sustainable aviation fuel plants need to be built to help hit, for example, a 10 percent sustainable fuel target. Building the production plants would cost $90 billion and take five years, Abbott estimated. He added the travel industry has to figure out soon how to obtain the money to start building the plants in 2024 or 2025.

Abbott also said he doesn’t view operating fewer flights as the most appropriate method to reduce carbon emissions, arguing reducing the number of leisure flights is difficult. However, Mark Cuschieri, the association’s vice president, said at the summit that getting the necessary amount of sustainable aviation fuel was challenging.

Next,, which is often seen as a rival to Airbnb, only recorded a modest increase in short-term rental bookings from 2019 levels during the third quarter. But the company isn’t thinking about stagnant booking levels in the sector, reports Executive Editor Dennis Schaal. CEO Glenn Fogel acknowledged during its latest third quarter earnings call that it wants to expand its roster of short-term rental properties. However, Fogel said its inability to attract more short-term rental bookings wasn’t necessarily a negative since hotel bookings are more profitable for the company. Hotels represented roughly 70 percent of bookings on the site during the third quarter, around the same level as last year.

Fogel stated’s strategy isn’t to push travelers toward short-term rentals instead of hotels. But he said the company could easily increase short-term rental bookings if it struggled with hotels.

Finally, Norwegian Cruise Line saw its occupancy level rise in the third quarter even as it increased its pricing. The company believes it will fill ships next year with even higher pricing amid a possible economic downturn, writes Dawit Habtemariam.

Norwegian Cruise President and CEO Frank J. Del Rio said during its third quarter earnings call on Tuesday that its occupancy level rose to 82 percent, a 17 percentage point increase from the previous quarter. That jump occurred in spite of charging customers more to cruise than it did in 2019. Norwegian Cruise expects to reach full occupancy levels by the second quarter of next year.

Habtemarian writes that raising prices is part of the company’s strategy to achieve its recovery targets, with Chief Financial Officer Mark Kempa explicitly stating Norwegian Cruise wants its customers to pay more. Habtemarian notes that most of the company’s guests have more than a quarter million dollars in net worth, a group that has historically continued to book cruises despite economic downturns.

Wed, 09 Nov 2022 03:56:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Killexams : MDU Resources (MDU) 5-Year Capex to Focus on Infrastructure No result found, try new keyword!MDU Resources MDU announced a $3.5 billion capital expenditure plan for the next five years, from 2023 through 2027. The strategic capital investments are expected to provide organic growth across ... Fri, 25 Nov 2022 04:01:00 -0600 text/html Killexams : Pantheon Infrastructure PLC Names Anne Baldock as Senior Independent Director

Pantheon Infrastructure has appointed Nonexecutive Director Anne Baldock as senior independent director. "Pantheon Resources Names Anne Baldock as Senior Independent Director," at 1500 GMT on Friday, incorrectly referred to the company as Pantheon Resources. The correct version follows:

By Joe Hoppe

Pantheon Infrastructure PLC said Friday that it has appointed Nonexecutive Director Anne Baldock as senior independent director of the company, with immediate effect.

The infrastructure investment company said that Ms. Baldock has served as a nonexecutive director since October 2021.

Write to Joe Hoppe at

Corrections & Amplifications

This was corrected November 7, 2022 because the original version incorrectly referred to the company as Pantheon Resources. The correct company is Pantheon Infrastructure PLC.

Fri, 04 Nov 2022 12:24:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Where European Energy Infrastructure Is Vulnerable to Attack No result found, try new keyword!On Sept. 26, seismologists detected a series of explosions that were quickly traced to the floor of the Baltic Sea. It soon became clear that the blasts had severed the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas ... Thu, 17 Nov 2022 05:18:00 -0600 en text/html Killexams : Can Ukraine’s infrastructure survive the winter? © Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

In Kyiv, residents prepare for daily blackouts. They’re typically staggered by neighborhood, and don’t happen all at once; four hours off, four hours on, like that, all day, a checkerboard of light and dark, hot and cold, across the capital. People in Kyiv can look up their addresses and check the weekly schedule, so they’ll remember when to charge their phones or take a shower. The planning helps, but it isn’t foolproof. The power can go out without warning. Russia can send in more missiles, as they did this week. In big apartment buildings, people leave food and water and diapers in the elevators, in case the electricity cuts off and a neighbor gets stuck, for who knows how long.

A version of this exists in other regions in Ukraine — Chernihiv, and Sumy, and elsewhere, many of which, like Kyiv, faced a barrage of Russian air strikes during October that targeted civilian and energy infrastructure, like power substations and transmission lines. In those October attacks, about 400 targets in 16 oblasts (regions) were damaged, including dozens of energy facilities, according to Ukrainian officials at the time.

On Tuesday, Russia launched another round of strikes, about 90 missiles, hitting at least 15 energy facilities across Ukraine. “Burnt residential buildings. Destroyed power plants again. Hundreds of cities were left without electricity, water, and heat. Internet traffic has fallen by two-thirds — imagine the scale,” Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an address to G20 leaders.

The scale of the destruction makes quick repairs impossible. Replacement parts are not often readily available. Energy infrastructure also remains vulnerable: A lot of it is big and out in the open; once hit by a missile and fixed, it can be hit again. “It’s not possible to repair quickly after it’s been damaged,” said Vladimir Shulmeister, founder of the Infrastructure Council NGO and former first deputy minister of infrastructure of Ukraine from 2014 to 2015. “There were some spare parts, some electric power stations has been repaired, but there will be new problems coming from the air.”

That is on top of all the other destruction Ukraine accumulated in months and months of war: houses and apartment buildings, bridges, roads, railways. There is always collateral damage in conflict, but Russia’s attacks on non-military critical and energy infrastructure are intentional. “This is not a new tactic for Russia,” said John Spencer, a retired Army officer and chair of urban warfare studies at the Madison Policy Forum. “If you think about what they did in Chechnya, and in Syria, to basically bring the civilian population to such despair that they’re willing to capitulate.”

Moscow’s targeting of infrastructure, which some have argued amounts to war crimes, is an effort to undermine Ukraine’s economy and deprive people of essential services — heat, water, electricity — as winter approaches. Russia is struggling against Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the east and south, and so Moscow is trying to extend the war and spread out that pain across Ukraine, not just in war zones. All of it will make Ukraine even more reliant on aid from the West, which is dealing with its own inflation and energy crises. “Russians are actually now acting very cruel, but also in a very well-thought-through way,” said Andriy Kobolyev, former chief executive officer of Ukraine’s largest national oil and gas company Naftogaz.

In areas closer to the fighting, the infrastructure destruction is even more extreme, but also harder to fully assess. Zelenskyy accused Russian troops of destroying “all the critical infrastructure: communications, water, heat, electricity,” before retreating from Kherson last week. In Mykolaiv, in southern Ukraine, Russia cut off the city’s water supply months ago; salt water had run through the taps for months, and potable water is now just being restored. Zelenskyy said in early November, before the latest round of air strikes, that Russian attacks damaged about 40 percent of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure; precise data on how badly and where is hard to get, in part because Ukraine is closely guarding that information as a matter of national security.

Ukraine, so far, has been managing these challenges: stepping up public and private efforts to obtain and fund replacement parts, and deploying mitigation efforts like planned blackouts and urging Ukrainians to conserve energy. Officials have also told people who already fled the country they should not return because the energy system is stressed. “Ukrainians became energy efficient not by choice, but by war,” said Maryna Ilchuk, counsel in the Kyiv office of CMS Cameron McKenna LLC and board member of the Women’s Energy Club of Ukraine.

Ukraine does now have more advanced Western air-defense systems to help defend against Russian air bombardments; on Tuesday, an advisor to Zelenskyy said Ukraine shot down 70 of the 90 or so Russian missiles. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that its NASAMS air defense system, delivered recently, has had a “100 percent” success rate intercepting Russian missiles, and Ukraine is likely to push for more such systems to defend against Moscow’s onslaughts.

A lot remains unpredictable. Ukraine’s ability to withstand the winter depends on the things like the frequency and ferocity of Russian attacks, how effective its air defense systems are, or how cold the winter becomes. But the magnitude of the destruction so far, the difficulty of repairs, and Russia’s ability to continue to wage war against the same targets multiple times, means Ukraine will struggle to maintain and protect its infrastructure this winter, to keep the lights and heat on.

But, so far, Russia’s attacks have not diminished Ukrainian morale; if anything, it’s hardened attitudes against Russia, and any sort of negotiated settlement. “Ukrainians,” Shulmeister said, would “rather be frozen and not washed, than becoming part of Russia.”

Russian attacks are debilitating Ukraine’s energy infrastructure

Russian attacks in October damaged five of the six thermal power plants run by DTEK, Ukraine’s largest private energy investor. They had successfully undergone repairs. But after a pause of a few weeks, Russian again unleashed strikes on Tuesday.

During this latest wave, at least one of those plants was hit, and the rest were running at about 50 percent capacity, DTEK CEO Maxim Timchenko told Vox. As of Wednesday, DTEK is still assessing the scale of the damage.

Ukraine generates electricity through a few means — nuclear power, coal, and natural gas, mostly. Russia isn’t really attacking Ukraine’s ability to generate power, but taking out different limbs of the systems that help convert and carry and eventually distribute electricity to homes and businesses.

As experts said, power substations — which are basically the connector between the power-generating facilities to the distribution networks that get electricity to users — are a frequent target. “You have multiple ways to deliver electricity to a city, but all these delivery roads go through the substations. By damaging these large substations, they just cut those power lines effectively coming from power plants to cities,” said Dennis Sakva, a Kyiv-based energy sector analyst at Dragon Capital.

Russia is also targeting things like transmission lines that carry electricity, or transformers that transfer electricity from one circuity to another. Altogether, it means providers can’t deliver enough power to the cities and towns to meet the demand, and so they have to limit consumption with things like planned or “stabilization” blackouts. But if there’s a sudden spike in demand, or another substation or transmission line goes down, the lights, the water, the heat can go out, without notice.

And this isn’t just one substation or a few transmission lines; this is all over Ukraine — dozens and dozens of wounds to the network. “The scale of damages is so large that it makes it almost impossible for timely repairs and getting back to normal,” Sakva said.

Finding spare parts to make repairs is one of the biggest challenges. Energy companies don’t necessarily have huge stocks, and replacements can be difficult to produce. According to Kobolyev, the former energy chief, it can take months; the lead time for one large transformer, he said, is usually 12 months. Some of Ukraine’s infrastructure, like its coal-fired plants, were built during the Soviet era, adding to the difficulty of repairs. Timchenko, of DTEK, said they have to sometimes reallocate parts from other Ukrainian plants, or find similar models from other former Soviet states, like in Eastern Europe, that might have similar specifications. “The biggest concern is that we run out of stock, and it cannot be replaced,” Timchenko said.

Energy companies are coordinating with the Ukrainian government to seek emergency equipment donations from abroad, from private firms and governments, and then direct it to where repairs are most urgently needed. The wish-list includes things like power transformers, generators, pipes, insulators, and welding machines.

This acute scramble, of course, is piling on to the infrastructure struggles Ukraine has faced since Russia launched its full-on assault in Ukraine last February. Even in places like Kyiv, and its suburbs, where Russia retreated from in April, houses are still bombed out, roads still destroyed. In April, Ukrainian officials had estimated that about 30 percent of its transportation infrastructure was damaged, though, Shulmeister said, transport problems are easier to fix than energy ones.

Zaporizhzhia, the largest power plant in Ukraine and Europe’s largest nuclear plant, came under Russian control, and it shut down its reactors repeatedly because of fighting and safety concerns, cutting it off from the Ukrainian grid. Russian attacks have also taken out renewable energy infrastructure — as much as 50 percent of its solar capacity, and 90 percent of its wind turbines.

“These attacks against critical infrastructure — the reverberating effects for the civilian population have been massive so far,” said Alexander Grif, Ukraine country director for the Center for Civilians in Conflict. “And we have not even entered winter in Ukraine.”

Uncertainty as winter approaches — and a reminder that the costs of war go far beyond the immediate conflict

Ukrainian officials called Russia’s latest barrage the worst of the war to date. It will stress a system already struggling from October’s attacks, with few parts of society or the economy spared.

For civilians, the power going out, of course, means you don’t have lights or television or an internet connection for a few hours. If you use gas for cooking, a few people said, you’re now one of the lucky ones. But electricity is also key to keeping other utilities running, like water and heat. District heating, often used in cities, depends on electric pumps to move hot water, which is used to heat homes; approximately 53 percent of urban households in Ukraine rely on such systems as their main heating source during the winter. As Sakva pointed out, if the heat and water go out, pipes might freeze up, and then when they thaw, it can create a humanitarian disaster. A big city without a water supply is also a sanitation hazard, as it creates hygienic risks and people lack clean drinking water.

Some people in Kyiv said, right now, the indoors can feel like the outdoors. But the coldest months are not here yet; the temperature in January and February hovers around 30 degrees Fahrenheit in Kyiv. Homes damaged by strikes — blown out windows, or broken pipes — would be hard to heat even if utilities were working at full capacity.

Right now, the priority is getting the most urgent systems up and running. “We are trying to restore the assets that are required immediately to survive during the winter period. So pipes, heating tubes, heated infrastructure, electricity infrastructure, and things like that,” said Vladyslava Grudova, who is tracking infrastructure damages as co-head of the project

The full extent of destruction Russia has unleashed on critical energy infrastructure is hard to fully gauge. Experts and analysts told me that, especially since the Kremlin is targeting these elements, Ukraine is closely protecting that information, though official statements and industry data — along with the realities of everyday Ukrainians — offer at least some clues.

As of September, estimates of damage to energy infrastructure landed somewhere around $13.4 billion, but that predates Russia’s October and November assaults, which means the figure is likely much higher. The Kyiv School of Economics, which is in the process of revising their data for October, estimates about $127 billion in total infrastructure damage as of September 1, with about $50 billion of that just housing costs alone. In September, the World Bank assessed Ukraine’s physical damage at about $97 billion, with the total rebuilding costs somewhere closer to $350 billion.

Ukraine will need economic and humanitarian aid to get through the winter — generators, and winter coats, and clean water supplies, which are being delivered, though the scale of which is still unclear. Strikes and shelling make the delivery of that aid more challenging, too. Authorities are trying to come up with back-up plans, including emergency heating centers and warnings to stock up on firewood as an alternative heating source, although as someone pointed out, it’s not like you can lug a wood-burning stove up to your high-rise apartment.

Energy analysts and experts also say that military aid matters here, too, specifically air defense systems that allow Ukraine to intercept Russian strikes. These systems can’t cover everything, but as Spencer said, they do help Ukraine protect the critical infrastructure in major cities, which is exactly what Putin is attacking.

And these energy problems are directly connected to that battle for Ukrainian territory. Russian President Vladimir Putin has targeted civilian infrastructure in response to Ukraine’s counteroffensive, which has successfully wrested back some Russian-controlled territory in the east and south. Ukraine is trying to push ahead to make as many gains as possible ahead of winter, when cold weather and frozen ground and lack of coverage will change the nature of the fighting, and force both sides to adjust tactics.

But Russia sees these attacks on critical systems as a strategy to grind down Ukraine, which means the risk of more destruction will persist. A crippled energy infrastructure will affect every corner of Ukraine, as it disrupts communication and transport networks, banking and postal networks, and food and agricultural production. That will threaten to displace more people and create pockets of humanitarian emergencies.

All of these vulnerabilities may also make it harder for Ukraine to wage war on the front lines, in what will be, no matter what, a very long winter.

Thu, 17 Nov 2022 21:19:00 -0600 en-US text/html
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