A recurrent theme in the EU security of supply debate is the need to diversify natural gas imports, and to reduce the EU’s dependence on a few large suppliers. Continue reading »
In July 2009 the European commission published a proposal for a Regulation on the security of gas supply, due to replace the Directive 2004/67 on the same topic. The proposal has been discussed at the Council under the Swedish Presidency and the negotiation continues under the Spanish Presidency; a political agreement is expected in May 2010.
Concerns about the economic, geopolitical, and national security consequences of U.S. imports of oil have triggered arguments for adopting policies to reduce oil imports. Many members of Congress have advocated “energy independence” for the United States.
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In the discussion on European gas supply security, short-term aspects such as the physical availability of energy resources, technical disruptions, etc., should be distinguished from the long-term aspects.
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On both sides of the Atlantic, foreign policy analysts have convinced policy makers that the West faces a severe energy security challenge. They promote either ‘energy independence’ or a ‘strategic approach’ to energy security. The West, they say, should stop being naïve about markets. Exporters are renationalising the energy industries and placing their energy assets at the heart of their foreign policy. Large new importers secure their supply through government-to-government deals. Energy policy has become high politics and energy security is hard security. The appropriate institution to deal with these concerns is no longer the International Energy Agency but NATO. It is time to challenge this vision. Continue reading »
Rising energy prices and mounting concerns about environmental depletion have animated fears that the world may be headed for a spate of ‘resource wars’ – hot conflicts trigerred by a struggle to grab valuable recources. Continue reading »
Everybody talks about security of supply these days, but there have been few attempts to put figures on this concept. In this contribution we develop an index to measure security of supply for the main fuels based on a measurement of diversity derived from biology. Our extended index takes into account the political stability of the exporting country, and the domestic energy production of the importing country or region. We apply the indicators and find that, in international comparison, Europe’s supply security is less critical than generally argued. Continue reading »