What Is Long Term Energy Security?

Long term measures to increase energy security center on reducing dependence on any one source of imported energy, increasing the number of suppliers, exploiting native fossil fuel or renewable energy resources, and reducing overall demand through energy conservation measures. It can also involve entering into international agreements to underpin international energy trading relationships, such as the Energy Charter Treaty in Europe.

The impact of the 1973 oil crisis and the emergence of the OPEC cartel was a particular milestone that prompted some countries to increase their energy security. Japan, almost totally dependent on imported oil, steadily introduced the use of natural gas, nuclear power, high-speed mass transit systems, and implemented energy conservation measures, It has become one of the world leaders in the use of renewable energy. The United Kingdom began exploiting North Sea oil and gas reserves, and became a net exporter of energy into the 2000s.

In other countries energy security has historically been a lower priority. The United States, for example, has continued to increase its dependency on imported oil although, following the oil price increases since 2003, the development of biofuels has been suggested as a means of addressing this.

Increasing energy security is also one of the reasons behind plans for an oil phase-out in Sweden, together with a block on the development of natural gas imports. Greater investment in native renewable energy technologies and energy conservation is envisaged instead. India is carrying out a major hunt for domestic oil to decrease its dependency on OPEC, while Iceland is well advanced in its plans to become energy-independent by 2050 through deploying 100% renewable energy.


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