Geothermal Cybersecurity and Resilience

NREL researchers are working to fill a critical information gap on the cybersecurity of geothermal energy systems.

Researchers view large projections of a cyber attack from a computer.
NREL provides analysis of geothermal energy sector cyber-security risks.


  • Vulnerability analysis
    • Multilayer energy systems emulation and scenario analysis
    • Utility cyber governance assessments
  • Mitigation modeling
    • Cyber threat mitigation R&D
    • Modular encryption for distributed energy devices
  • Situational awareness
    • Real threat identification and visualization
    • Consequence analysis of combined energy and communications systems
  • Stakeholder engagement
    • Standards development for cybersecurity and renewable energy
    • New tools for cyber assessments and distributed energy systems


Cybersecurity of energy technologies is a priority for the U.S. Department of Energy. In 2018, congressional guidance directed its Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to deliver a multiyear program plan addressing cybersecurity.

NREL performed a preliminary analysis of geothermal energy sector cyber-physical security risks. Areas that were identified as affecting the security and resilience of geothermal systems were:

  • Working fluid controls
  • District heating controls
  • Geographic distribution
  • Integration of new and legacy control systems
  • Multisite aggregated controls
  • Supply chain-limited targets
  • Chemical treatment process controls
  • Reservoir system data monitoring.

A summary of the study was presented in the 2020 Geothermal Rising Annual Meeting.

Learn more about NREL’s research in cybersecurity for the electric grid

Resilient Energy Systems

NREL offers a range of energy resilience services for disaster planning and recovery, microgrid resilience, and more. Learn about our unique energy security and energy resilience capabilities within the Energy Systems Integration Facility.


Distributed Energy Resources Cybersecurity Framework: Applying the NIST Risk Management Process, NREL Technical Report (2020)

Geothermal Sector Cybersecurity Vulnerability Assessment, Geothermal Resources Council Poster Presentation (2020)  

Intrusion Detection for Cybersecurity of Power Electronics Dominated Grids: Inverters PQ Set Points Manipulation, IEEE Cyber PELS 2020 (2020)

View all NREL publications about geothermal research.


Jon White

Manager, Cyber-Physical Energy Systems Security Group