Why energy security is important

Energy security is seen as a complex term with implications across political, economic, environmental, social, and technical, among a host of others.

Experts say that energy issues mean different things to interested/vested parties, be it oil importing or producing country, and distinction between “security of supply” and “security of demand”. As such, from the 20th century, energy security was mostly focused on supply, as policymakers were mostly concerned about the diversification of supply, uninterrupted flow of supply, and affordability of energy. As a result, the concept of security of supply became and still is one of the main definitions of energy security.

Tadas Jakstas, in Energy Transformation Towards Sustainability, argued that “Nowadays energy security studies has shifted from a classic approach and become an interdisciplinary field. Climate change, globalization, and uncertain future of fossil fuels have added new dimensions, such as sustainability, energy efficiency, mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, accessibility of energy services (energy poverty), etc. Thus, the concept of energy security became interconnected with other environmental, social, political, and security issues,” which are closely linked affordable energy services, equitable access to the energy, energy efficiency, and a host of others. 

Other experts including Asmae Berrada, and Rachid El Mrabet, in Hybrid Energy System Models, linked energy security to diversification of primary energy supplies, saying: “As this diversification increases, energy security improves. Distributed energy generation systems that are based on renewables use diversified energy resources such as sunlight for photovoltaic systems and wind for turbines,” while non-renewable technologies, use natural gas. 

Many commercialized distributed generation technologies depend on oil or natural gas, and most of the investment in research has been focused on fuel cells as well as gas turbines, which make use of natural gas. 

This is closely tied the second interpretation of energy security concerns – the reliability of the power system and electricity supply to customers. However, it is not always the case. 

However, the experts also noted that distributed generation can also have a negative effect on reliability. “This occurs when it is difficult to control the fluctuating output of non-dispatchable energy generation systems. Therefore, regulation of power is necessary. This issue has a negative impact on energy security.”

In regards to diversity and energy mix, Bruce G. Miller, in Clean Coal Engineering Technology, said: “This will require policies that support expansion of the energy supply and delivery infrastructure (with sufficient storage and generating reserves), diversity of fuels, and redundancy of infrastructure to meet the demands of economic growth.”

Just like the United States, a country like Nigeria, with a whole lot of energy issues will need increased contributions toward energy security from all available sources over the long term, including conservation, traditional sources of energy, renewable resources, and new energy sources.

Therefore, countries would need to: encourage conservation and energy efficiency; maintain diverse energy supplies while enhancing domestic production and delivery; and maximize economic efficiency.

They should also accelerate research and development to create and deploy advanced energy technologies; develop and implement effective contingency and emergency plans; and develop policies based on sound science and realistic economic, national security, and environmental needs to make decisions that are timely, consistent, and coordinated with energy security, economic, and environmental objectives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous Post

IMO harps on sustainable transport

Next Post

Donors support disaster risk financing, insurance

Related Posts