The most important and valuable part of the world is the energy. Ensuring security of the energy the future world can conduct their proper growth. In order to secure the energy almost every country from all over the world takes various steps. Based on their quantity of energy they are trying to secure their energy for future. Maintaining various policies and procedures and following rules and regulations the countries in various parts of the world are securing their energy. The energy of the countries is fuel, gas, electricity, oil and so on. Building the proper plan of expenditure the countries are trying to secure their energies. The proper policies and the appropriate steps of the countries and different regions can build proper planning of the security of the energies and can save the energies for their future use.
According to Anget al.(20158, 1077), energy security is the association that deals with the availability of the natural resources and provides proper security to the resources for the future requirements. It distributes the natural resources to the leading countries in the energy security process. The renewal process of the energies also conducted by the associations and renewable the energies the association can ensure both the security of energy and also the commercial benefits.
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Regional dimension in energy security
Energy security is prolonged towards creating more secure and comprehensive energy distribution and usage. It is an association between energy consumption and conservation of natural resources. Cheap energy has become essential for modern economies to function efficiently. However, uneven and disintegrated distribution and supply of energy resources has given rise to vulnerabilities. Energy security aims for providing security to the availability of depleting natural resources due to higher demand in energy sector and government world over have felt the need for controlling and preventing overexploitation of natural fossil fuels (Gracceva and Zeniewski, 2014, p.340).
In recent times, rapid and uncontrolled growth in the demand for fossil fuels, such as oil, coal and natural gas has increased significantly in specific regions comprising developing nations coupled with faster depletion of conventional natural reserves, like in North Sea. This has resulted in higher and fluctuating prices in energy sector, drawing greater concern for secure and well connected energy sector.
Energy security works in establishing the security of energy sector. There are several possible ways for measuring energy security of a nation such as analyzing continuity of fossil supplies, total energy resources, service supplies and continuity of economic performance (Ang et al.2015, p.1082). However, energy security has primarily been associated with security of fossil supplies. Recently, all nations have woken up came together for the purpose of energy security, and have undertaken significant initiatives in integrating the regional dimensions associated with it.
Long term security: Long term energy security aims at providing security that lasts longer and benefits wholly through generations. Long-term measures for energy security involve reducing dependency on only one imported energy source through increasing suppliers, extensively using alternative renewable sources and decreasing overall demands for fossil fuels in energy sector. It also includes states to enter into international trade agreements with other regions to encourage international energy trading relationship and practice conservation measures on global scale. Influence of 1973 Oil Crisis and subsequent emergence of OPEC was a long-term solution prompting countries to increases energy security. As a result, Japan, which used to heavily depend on imported oil readily, increased use of natural resources, nuclear power and high-speed transit system and energy conservation techniques (Welsch et al.2014, p.612). USA has reduced its dependency on oil imports and looked for other alternatives in usage of biogas fuels. Concern for energy conservation is a factor behind blocking the development of natural gas imports in Sweden. Long-term security also entails lower priority for fossils as fuels for industrial operation and functions.
Short term security: Short term security measures works towards eliminating immediate threat surrounding the discourse. The energy resources that require short-term security include petroleum, natural gas, renewable sources of energy. Petroleum has become one of the most resourceful fossil needs for many nations, including China and USA. Since oil reserves hold the key for national economy, it is constantly sabotaged in Gulf nations as both developed and developing nations heavily rely on them. Thus, countries came forward and formed International Energy Agency to safeguard oil reserves and import-export. The value or importance of oil reserves was illustrated by relative disruption caused by Russia-Belarus dispute in 2007 when Russia cut energy exports to several nations within EU (Jewell et al.2014, p.750). Adding to it, natural gas creates short-term vulnerability for energy security. Short-term energy security enforces that there is no disruption is natural gas supply as seen in Russia-Ukraine gas dispute of 2006. Renewal technologies in renewal energy resources have facilitated lower dependency and reduced exploitation of natural energy reserves. Countries facing security issues of higher dependency on imported oil can use renewable energy sources as alternatives to feed their electrical grids and energy networks.
Energy security when viewed from the internal side throws private and political actors that add to the security of the energy. In this respect, energy security is encompasses four dimensions.
Internal: Internal dimension relates to the production and consumption of energy and the need to meet energy needs. It demands for financial acquisitions for maintenance of energy networks and extension of the energy supply chain. According to The World Energy Outlook 2005, cumulative global infrastructure investment is estimated to reach $17 trillion until 2030, where 40% of the demand would have to be contributed by OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) nations. In this regard, increase in demand for electricity calls for huge investments to be made in power grids and production. Demand for energy security is impertinent considering the effects of power failure all over Europe in 2006 blackout that left for more integration and safety of energy supply and distribution (Månsson, et al.2014, p.14). Furthermore recognizing alternatives energy sources and investment in other spare capacities can reduce over dependency on oil reserves that often leads to regional conflicts and control over oil reserves. The current dilemma and conflicts in Arab nations by militants to take control of its vast oil reserves throws light on the need to not only the security for availability of energy sources but also on the security to preserve the natural reserves from destruction and overexploitation.
Economic: Energy security depends on the precondition of meeting domestic energy demands. Efficient and affordable supply chain for energy sources are driving factors for building energy security. This enforces that states must set regular guidelines and rules for functioning markets to allow industry and end users to acquire energy based on required amount at more affordable prices. Distributed energy production on regional or local level eliminates transport risks that can correlate with distances and cost while adding security by widening facilities and distribution network. An example contrary to this case is domination of electricity market in Germany by only four major companies.
Security policy: Security for energy supplies cannot only be solved with soft power actions. Well structured and effectives policies and regulations must be defined to protect the vulnerability of energy sector. There is existence of dominant threats such as terrorist attacks and piracy engulfing this sector. Terrorist attack on infrastructures or trade piracy, either of which are not endorsed or executed by state actors, have to be addresses and resolved with conventional security policy. In last two years, terrorists have attacked utilities and energy facilities, for example oil refineries, electrical grids, dams, more than 500 times to gain control over them. Piracy has outstretched its reach beyond the waters of eastern coast of Africa or Southeast Asia and affected energy trade in other regions as well. As countries are depending more on distribution of energy sources to fuel their transportation and economy, it is but imminent that security policies should be formulated to address the growing issue. One important asset in this case is close co-operation between nations and regional sharing of information and training and practices. Recent development was the introduction of EIS or Energy Infrastructure Dimension for securing energy supply chain.
Geopolitical: Worldwide trade of energy goods needs to be secured through strategic and concerted actions. Nevertheless, since global energy services have not been included into the services of WTO, formulation of common rules engulfing every sector have to be elaborated. Energy resources are distributed over long distances passing through many regional and national territories. In the regional context, EU initiatives for single market in electricity and natural gas are productive and profound example. Contrary to common market regulations, intra European energy trade is affected by some national restrictions. Moreover, free flow of energy resources and regional dependency eliminates threats of short-term supply interruptions and encourages quality of energy service and technological innovation (Muñoz et al.2015, p.485).
Here more stress has been laid on the geopolitical or geographical dimension related to energy security. This dimension entails all regional trade practices and coordination in building and integrating the security of energy resources and supply chain. Regional dimension aims for energy security through maintaining demand and supply of energy sources in the global market that builds coordination between states or actors involved.
RSCT is a theory developed on the idea that threats usually travel over short distances than long distances and therefore security dependency is more concentrated on a regional based geographical clusters. Thus, regional security complex theory suggests security complex as a group of security dilemmas that have been concentrated on specific geographical area concerning state powers within these regions where threat perceptions are so interlinked that they create strong sense of security independence such that security of one aspect cannot be separated or ignored from other. RSCT identifies two components of security complexes, distribution of power between states in specific geographical area and the levels of enmity or amity between them.
Regional security complex is formed by interactions between states in a geographical region related to energy including dependency relationship between concerned states and perceptions entailing to dependency viewed as a threat to economy and security. The interactions are based upon production, purchase and transit of energy. Analogous to RSCT, threats are more profound and intense due to energy dependencies within states in close proximity geographical areas. Oil and gas pipelines running thousands of miles, link states that are geographically apart with same chain of energy dependency. In this regard, an example illustrated is the energy dependency of US and Western Europe on Persian Gulf for hydrocarbon resources, particularly crude oil (Adamides and Christou, 2015, p.179). This energy dependency can easily be substituted by energy imports from other similar resources.
In regional security complexes, regional energy resources distribution and regional dependency can be considered to be parallel with political or military power distribution between security complexes. This aspect of security complex raises a doubt to be investigated upon that is the regions and factors it in energy security complexes and political security complexes. This theory can be assessed in the Eurasian context by linking relative percentage of energy dependency of CIS related states on Russian oil and electricity imports with their ability to diversify their energy imports or developing production standards to increase domestic energy production.
Europe is one of the largest energy consuming regions in the worlds. It has many a developed nations with advanced technologies integrated into their systems and functions. Thus Europe has higher requirement for energy demands. Oil, natural gas and coal are the major players that fuel Europe’s energy demands. In Europe’s total energy demand in 2009, coal accounted for 17%, oil for 35% and gas for 25%. Europe represented for 18% of the global demand for oil in the same year. Nuclear power constituted 14% and renewable sources 9% for the primary energy demands. Europe also makes up as a key supplier of energy sources. It energy imports are primarily dominated by handful of energy producers. Around two-thirds of its natural gas imports come from only three countries comprising Russia, Algeria and Norway (Vogler, 2013, p.639). Russia is a dominant producer of crude oil and major supplier for natural gas around the world. Russia also has an important role in coal supply as it accounts for 24% of the European import of coal.
However, gas markets in Europe have largely remained regional and bilateral. Given that natural gas supply requires pipeline bound infrastructure, it has been difficult for European nations to find alternative suppliers within short or medium term ranges. With respect to this, there has been growing concern of European nations’ over reliance on Russia for gas imports, occasionally reaching up to 100% demand in Central or Eastern Europe, especially within regions engulfing Baltic Straits. Adding to import dependency, energy security challenging European market can be domestic (Monjon and Guivarch, 2016, p.317). They arise from Europe’s commitment in transitioning into low carbon energy consumption. Introduction of policies and initiatives, for example EU’s 20-20-20 initiative, aims at reducing greenhouse gases emissions by as far as 20% by the end of 2020. Such initiatives flanked by plans of integrating 20% of renewable energy in total use can have demand-side pressure on EU’s energy consumption.
Asia-pacific region has witnessed growing demand for energy. Many nations within the region are developing countries experiencing rapid economic growth. The recent development and economic expansion of Asia Pacific nations have increased the need and dependency on energy resources and services thereby facilitating demand for fuels. It mostly has been in cases related to India and China. Research studies suggest that energy demands of Asia Pacific has grown tremendously through some past decades and it is projected that it would keep on increasing over coming decades. China and India along with USA and Japan constitute the four major oil consumers. Concerns over adequate energy supply for sufficiently meeting energy particularly among these four global powerhouses can lead to open confrontation from its bounded closed group. Adding to that, these countries do not use energy sources in conservable and environmental manner, while rapid and excessive use of fossil fuels increases pollution, contributing profoundly to increasing greenhouse gases.
Growing energy intake from regional powers within Asia Pacific and increasing competition for control over scare energy reserves have significant economic and political implications threatening energy security and affecting nations all across the world. The importance for energy security is paramount considering the strategic location and vulnerability of Asia-Pacific region for global stability and energy development (Aguilera, 2014, p.1797). This region is one of the world’s fastest growing energy consumers but its disregard for importance for energy security is matter of concern. There have been consistent efforts by China, particularly its state-owned oil corporations, for tapping into prospective oil markets in overseas area and acquire equity oil deals, in expansion of its capture of oil reserves and dominance in oil business around the world.
Energy security is matter that concerns Asia-Pacific region on a more discretely level. There is AN increasing dependency and usage of energy sources calls for combined effort to reduce the implications on society and oblige to international regulations and policies.
Projections suggest that development of energy driven technologies and subsequent thirst for energy, particularly for India and China, would have negative implications, have impact on geopolitics and energy markets, and increase pollution both regionally and globally.
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North America is a global powerhouse in energy consumption. The continent possesses immense energy wealth and is able to meet its own regional demand and globally as well. USA is included among top ten producers of oil, natural gas, nuclear power and hydroelectricity. Canada and Mexico ranks high for oil production. Despite this, North America is subjected to various security issues entailing energy sector. One of the dominant concerns in energy security is faced by USA and its dependency on foreign suppliers for crude oil (Dagher, 2014, p.73). Several legislations have been proposed and signed by many US governments to curb crude oil imports and develop energy security. The continent’s energy security is governed by NAFTA, the North America Free Trade Agreement that lays down rules and regulations regarding energy trade.
In order to ensure the security of the energies, the countries take various steps and adopt different policies. Maintaining the proper steps and following the rules and regulations, the countries can ensure the security of the energies. As per Knox-Hayeset al.(2013, p.609), there are various threats and challenges while securing the safety of the energy. In order to maintain the proper security, the responsible associations need to face various issues and challenges. The countries need to build the proper system to protect the threats and face the challenges. In the time of building the plan of security, the associations need to ensure the challenges. Some threats and challenges are predictable and some are unpredictable. The threats, which are predictable, can be resolved by taking proper steps for the beginning, but those challenges, which are not predictable, can interrupt the energy security system and damage the whole process within the countries. The main challenges that the energy security process faces are following:
The activities of human have an impact on the energy security process and interrupt the whole system. The various activities of human including lack of attention do not follow the rules of use various things and so on. These types of activities of a human directly provide the negative impact on the security process. The lack of proper attentions of the responsible persons can damage the whole process and it is a major threat to the energy security (Jewell et al.2014, p.743).
The technological factors are the big threat in front of energy security. The security process depended on the developed and modern technologies. The whole system of the security procedures controlled by various security equipments that are consists of some technological parts. Any kind of failure on the technologies damages the whole process. As it is a predictable threat, so the association can build the proper planning in order to resolve the challenges and ensure the energy security?
The energy resources are also the challenge for the energy security. The energies, mainly oil and gas are limited in the whole world. Due to lack of proper resources of oil and gas, these energies can be exhaust in future. If the large resource of oil and gas cannot find, then the future world cannot use it. In order to preserve it for the future, it is important to ensure the proper use and security of the energy resources.
One of the most dangerous and effective factors that can provide negative impact is the environmental factor. The sudden incidents like earthquakes and disaster can damage the whole energy security. The earthquakes and disaster threats the security of the energies and damage the energy security (Sovacool and Saunders, 2014, p.641).
McCollumet al.(2013, p.479) stated that in the case of various regions, there are various issues of the challenges. Depended on the conditions of the countries, the issues become major and the proper steps of the countries can minimize the effect of the issues on their energy security policies. In the countries all over the world, various issues are related to the energy security. The issues for the different countries are various, international relations, technological issues, environmental issues lack energy resources, human activities and so on. For the issues of the countries, there are various reasons. In various countries, the issues and reasons are same and in various countries, there is lack of various important resources that provides the challenges to them.
Issues that challenge the UK
In the case of United Kingdom, various issues provide various challenges to the energy security process of the country. According to Månssonet al.(20147, p.1), the issues that challenge the energy security process of United Kingdom are mainly International relations and technological factors.
As the international relation of United Kingdom is not proper, so it provides the negative impact on the security of their energies. The lack of proper relation with other leading countries provides them various challenges.
In some case of United Kingdom due to the failure of the technological instruments the security system of the country interrupted. It becomes a major issue in some cases of the country.
Issues that challenge Japan
In the case of an issue that provides various challenges to the security of energies of Japan are mainly the environmental and resource issues. These issues provided challenges to the system of the country.
The various environmental issues, like Tsunami and disaster, provided the negative effect and the challenges become large in the format of the country. Tsunami affected the process of energy security of Japan as the environmental factor.
As per Cherp and Jewell, (2014, p.415), the resources provide various issues that build the challenge in front of Japan. Due to the reason of the environmental factors, the energy resource of the country become low and the country faced various issues. For that reason, the energy security percentage of the country reduced, but the country is trying to improve the condition.
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Issues that challenge America
In the case of energy security of America, there are also the various issues that provides challenges to the system of the country. For America the issue that provides challenges are the lack of resource and environmental. These issue affecting badly to the security of the energies of the country (Chevalier and Geoffron, 2016, p.56).
Lack of resources
As United states of America is one of the first world countries, so for their growth, they already use various natural resources and the rest of the resources are too low in quantity. Due to the lack of resources of energies, the challenge becomes very big in front of the country. In order to secure the energy, America is importing the resource from various countries all over the world.
In the case of United States of America, there is so much air pollution. For the increase of unnecessary materials in the air of the country is reducing the security possibility of the resources. The pollution build the challenges inform of the country and the security process gets harm by this.
Issues that challenge Iran
In the case of Iran, there are also the various issues that provides the challenges to their energy security process. The international relation of the country and the technological factors are the main issues that challenge Iran.
As the international relation of Iran is not proper, so it provides challenges to them. Due to the lack of positive relations with the other leading countries, affect their energy security process.
As Iran is one of the third world countries so due to the lack of proper arrangements of developed technologies the security process of the country interrupted and the country faces various challenges. The lack of proper technology is the major issue for Iran. As the whole system of energy security is depended upon the proper technology, so the lack of technology reduce the quality of the process of the country and build challenges for the country (Sovacool and Saunders, 2014, p.641).
At the end of the essay writing task, it can be concluded that all over the world maximum countries are taking proper steps to secure energies for future use. Building proper strategies and plans the countries conducting the process and trying to save more energy. In the case of energies, like oil and gas as these energies are limited in quantity and can exhaust in future, so by controlling the usages, the countries are securities the energies. In order to secure the energies, there is various process including long term and short-term securities. In order to energy security, there is the theory of complex that helps the countries to improve their policies about the security of energies. Adopting the theory and applying it in their policies the countries of all over the world can build proper energy security process. Various issues provide challenges to the security procedures of the country. The issue that challenges the security procedure of various regions is different in some cases.
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