Thursday, January 3, 2013

Energy security – Meaning, definition and importance

Energy security is term we often here these days, especially when we are listening different reports about the world running out of oil. The best way to define energy security is to say that this term refers to availability of natural resources for energy consumption in a given period of time (short or long-term period in order to estimate future energy security).

Each country must think about its future energy security because this is one of the main prerequisites for the future economic growth. Our economy is traditionally based on fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas), and this fact leads to conclusion that only the adequate supply of fossil fuels can guarantee future energy security.

The transition to renewable energy could change this but all current estimates say that our economy will continue its dependence on fossil fuels till at least the end of the century. Under this scenario fossil fuels will continue to determine the destiny of future global energy security and oil will likely continue to shape up the global economic growth.

The role of renewable energy in improving energy security is not to be overlooked because more renewable energy coming from domestic renewable energy sources means less need for fossil fuels and expensive foreign fuel import. Going for more domestic energy resources instead of relying on expensive foreign fuel import is very positive thing for future energy security.

The bigger percentage of renewable energy sources in country's energy portfolio also means improved energy independence. Energy independence and energy security are two closely connected terms, basically in most cases improved energy security means also improved energy independence.

There are many different threats to energy security, for instance political turmoils in rich oil producing countries, the rise of new economic giants (China and India that present heavy competition over energy sources), natural disasters and accidents, etc.

Also, energy security doesn't refer just to the amount of energy resources that are at disposal to certain country but also to a security of energy supply (adequate distribution network). Energy plays key role in the national security of any given country because without energy there's no economy, and without economy there's no progress of society in general.

Major oil exporters today play key role in global energy security. Many powerful countries are looking for long-term solutions to increase energy security by reducing dependence on foreign oil import. This has not only resulted in the growth of domestic renewable energy resources but also in different measures aimed to improve energy efficiency and energy conservation.