The World Energy Council has warned the UK is a risk with a huge cyber-attack on its energy infrastructure.

The World Energy Issues Monitor report states that risk from cyber-threats has moved up this year, particularly in Europe and North America. Energy leaders in Germany are increasingly concerned with cyber-threats in addition to leaders in the UK who face a growing threat.

In the UK, there has been a notable decline in the criticality and perceived need for action in energy efficiency as opposed to remaining a key concern in Europe and the rest of the world.

“Since the last report, UK energy security has seen a marked refocusing on to non-industry-related external threats such as those from terrorism and cyber-attacks, whether individual or state-sponsored,” the report states.

Christopher Frei, director general at the World Energy Council said “In the last two years this issue has really come close to – if not to the top of – the issues keeping energy leaders awake at night. So cyber is a very big issue for energy infrastructure.”Frei admitted that he believes UK businesses and politicians are underestimating the risk.

“The economic cost of a blackout is just huge. What can you do without energy? Everything stops,” Frei added when acknowledging that the effect on the UK would be “devastating”.