This paper aims to describe a new methodology for the analysis of international energy relations that enables the relationship between any given country and other countries or regions to be classified in terms of the competition (rivalry) and complementarities (affinity) between them.
The methodological approach taken rests on the composition of a new index, termed here the Energy Affinity Index, which has been defined as a function of countries' roles in international energy markets. This index therefore seeks to quantify energy rivalry or affinity between countries in terms of their energy import and export flows.
The key finding of this paper is the recognition and systematic cataloguing of countries in terms of their relationship with the region under study, namely the European Union (EU). Thus, the degree of affinity, rivalry, and irrelevance in terms of energy between the EU and third countries is distinguished. In turn, the potential that can be explored by the EU and the need to bring specific strategies to bear in each case is examined in the light of the results of the Energy Affinity Index and the specific characteristics of each country.
The main research implications derive from the concept of energy relations and their quantification. It opens up a new path in the study of energy security and competition. This is potentially of considerable interest given that energy security is a widespread concern, particularly among highly energy dependent and vulnerable countries, and in view of the current context of growing competition for resources, characterised by increasing energy demand and the exhaustion of fossil fuels.
The original contribution and the value of this study is the proposal of the Energy Affinity Index as a new concept and a metric to help understand and analyse international energy relations both quantitatively and qualitatively. As well as presenting and developing the methodology, the paper analyses the EU‐27's energy relations with third countries over the period 2000‐2008, thereby offering a new perspective on these relations.
María Marín‐Quemada, J. and Muñoz‐Delgado, B. (2011), "Affinity and rivalry: energy relations of the EU", International Journal of Energy Sector Management, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 11-38. https://doi.org/10.1108/17506221111120884Download as .RIS
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