CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Foreword From: International Journal of Energy Sector Management, Volume 5, Issue 1
The European Union’s (EU) external energy dependence is constantly increasing. With both energy consumption and dependency on oil and natural gas imports growing and supplies becoming scarcer, the risk of supply failure is rising. Securing European energy supplies is therefore high on the EU’s agenda.
Apart from the European strong dependence issue, another relevant issue involves the reliability of the infrastructures – for extraction, primary processing and transport to EU – as far as likely accidents and terrorist attacks are concerned. In addition, to the import of primary sources, import of electricity is relevant as many new interconnections are at several stages (identification, planning, development, implementation, etc.). Moreover, the concern related to the availability and the reliability of these supplies is associated with the burdens and the environmental impacts that such large and complex infrastructures have on the territories involved, outside as well as inside Europe. Therefore, the future dependence from foreign suppliers impacts directly the EU security of supply and indirectly the other two main targets of the EU energy policy, economic development and climate change mitigation. The availability, cost and characteristics of foreign energy supply will shape EC and national policies towards foreign suppliers as well as internal markets.
The paper on “International relations and security of energy supply: risks to continuity and geopolitical risks” recently published by the Policy Department of the Directorate General External Policies of the Union States that:
[…] if Europe is to pursue a single, coordinated and efficient energy policy, a comprehensive policy framework will have to be designed as a tool for the energy sector to take up the challenges of employment generating economic growth, minimize dependence on external supplies and – at the same time – meet environmental targets, e.g. under the Kyoto Protocol.
In order to ensure, to the extent that is possible, a secure energy market, makes essential to adopt and understand that international co-operation on energy security is a “win-win” outcome for all countries involved. To achieve this means moving away from the traditional perception that energy is a national security issue – it is a European security issue. Energy security may, also, have a price – political and economic – but one must be sure that the cost of energy security will be small compared with the alternatives – economic instability and geopolitical tension. In the above framework, the main aim of this particular special issue is to provide structured information and comprehensive studies with models and methods for supporting security of energy supply scenarios and policies in the EU, concerning the different energy corridors, emphasizing on key dimensions of energy security.
This special issue on “Risk of energy availability – common corridors for Europe supply security” aligning latest practices, innovation and case studies with academic frameworks and theories, contains energy sector analysis and information on critical parameters of the complex issue of security of energy supply and associated risks.
As the Coordinator of the EC-FP7 REACCESS: “Risk of Energy Availability – Common Corridors for Europe Supply Security” project, I hope that this special issue will contribute to the investigation of inter-relationships between external energy supply strategies and EU27 or MS policies, in the context of the three sides of the so-called “Triangle of European energy decision making”: security of supply (stability of international trading system, short-term emergency storage), environmental objectives (Kyoto protocol, share of renewable energies) and economic competitiveness (innovation as a result of increased research, investment in new technologies, liberalisation and nuclear power Lisbon strategies).
Prof. ing. Evasio LavagnoDipartimento di Energetica, Politecnico di Torino