What Is Short Term Energy Security?


Many countries hold strategic petroleum reserves as a buffer against the economic and political impacts of an energy crisis. All 26 members of the International Energy Agency hold a minimum of 90 days of their oil imports, for example.

The value of such reserves was demonstrated by the relative lack of disruption caused by the 2007 Russia-Belarus energy dispute, when Russia indirectly cut exports to several countries in the European Union.

Natural Gas

Compared to petroleum, reliance on imported natural gas creates significant short term vulnerabilities. Many European countries saw an immediate drop in supply when Russian gas supplies were halted during the Russia-Ukraine gas dispute in 2006.

Nuclear Power

Sources of uranium delivered to EU utilities in 2007, from the 2007 Annual report of the Euratom Supply Agency Uranium for nuclear power is mined and enriched in diverse and "stable" countries. These include Canada (23% of the world's total in 2007), Australia (21%), Kazakhstan (16%) and more than 10 other countries. Uranium is mined and fuel is manufactured significantly in advance of need. Nuclear fuel is considered by some to be a relatively-reliable power source, though a debate over the timing of peak uranium does exist.

Improving Energy Security Via Decentralization

One possible way of simultaneously contributing to international energy and climate security is by investing in decentralized energy. By building electricity generating capacity close to the source of demand one can improve combustion efficiency (by capturing waste heat) and reduce imports of natural gas and other fuels. Using on-site renewable powered energy can go even further in reducing and fuel imports and emissions responsible for climate change and air pollution.


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