Global Agenda Council on Energy Security 2012-2013
Record high oil price volatility, changing energy demand, concerns over supply, and other economic and geopolitical factors have made energy security an issue of global importance. “Energy security” is the reliable, stable and sustainable supply of energy at affordable prices and social costs. Exploring and implementing long-term sustainable solutions in the complex field of energy security is vital to promote peace and economic growth. Given the scope and geographic spread of energy security issues, potential solutions and related debates often require a regional focus.
In theory, efforts to connect energy security and climate change could lead to more progress on both fronts. In practice, however, relatively little has been achieved by linking these two issues because the efforts have been driven by political expedience rather than a practical vision of what is realizable. Policy-makers have been inclined to set goals that are not achievable given the generally slow pace of change in energy systems. The resulting lack of credibility has, therefore, undermined incentives for industry to invest in the new technologies required because of a belief that policy goals won’t be met.
Fixing these problems requires a three-pronged approach. The first is to set more realistic goals. The second is to focus on market mechanisms that enable all energy technologies to compete on fair terms. And the third is to embrace the effects of globalization. The rise of global markets for energy technologies and fuels is potentially great news for efforts to guarantee energy security while simultaneously decarbonizing the energy system. Global markets will expand the supply of ideas and diversify energy systems.
"The last 20 years have seen massive changes in the world’s energy system and markets with large impacts on energy security. New technologies – such as new supplies of shale gas and a surge in the deployment of various forms of renewable energy – could, with the right policies, lead to more reliable and affordable energy supplies."
David Victor, Professor, University of California, San Diego, USA
“What I believe needs to be addressed is what is achievable: what is the solution to stabilize global energy systems while new, innovative energy options are under deployment. A serious programme requires energy sources to be affordable and highly reliable.”
Lin Boqiang, Director, China Centre for Energy Economics Research (CCEER), Xiamen University, People’s Republic of China
World Energy Forum 2012
22-24 October 2012
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Launch of World Energy Outlook 2012
12 November 2012
International Energy Agency
Global energy systems weathered many disruptions in 2011. The Council now has the opportunity, and responsibility, to explore how nations coped with these challenges. The Council plans to explore adaptations that should be considered to ensure the affordability, security and sustainability of the energy supply in the future.
During its previous term, the Council focused on energy security governance and decarbonization policies. It concluded that a global approach to innovation policy, as well as engineering and construction of large systems, are required. It also revealed disagreement surrounding the idea that the technologies needed to address energy security and climate change challenges already exist and are simply awaiting deployment.
Given the changes in energy technology markets – and the global nature of the firms involved in the innovation and deployment of new technology – one solution rests with a global approach. Nearly all promising technologies for deep cuts in carbon require large-scale engineering. International collaboration, ranging from scientific exchange to financial strategies, will be necessary to advance new innovative nuclear reactors, or integrated renewable power systems. Globalizing the engineering and perhaps even construction of these systems offers huge potential for lowering costs and raising performance.
To take its work forward, the Council’s discussions will be articulated around a series of questions with a focus on creating a global framework for reliable, affordable and sustainable energy technology innovation.
Research Analyst: Ethan Huntington, Senior Associate, Global Agenda Councils, email@example.com
Council Manager: Maciej Kolaczkowski, Senior Community Associate, Oil and Gas Industry, firstname.lastname@example.org
Forum Lead: Pawel Konzal, Director, Head of Oil & Gas Industry, email@example.com
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