Energy dependence, in general, refers to mankind's general dependence on either primary or secondary energy for energy consumption (fuel, transport, automation, etc.). In a narrower sense, it may describe the dependence of one country on energy resources from another country.
Energy dependency shows the extent to which an economy relies upon imports in order to meet its energy needs. The indicator is calculated as net imports divided by the sum of gross inland energy consumption plus bunkers.
Energy dependence has been identified as one of several factors (energy sources diversification, energy suppliers diversification, energy sources fungibility, energy transport, market liquidity, energy resources, political stability, energy intensity, GDP) negatively contributing to energy security. Generally, a higher level of energy dependence is associated with higher risk, because of the possible interference of trade regulations, international armed conflicts, terrorist attacks, etc.
A crucial contribution on the road to energy independence is energy efficiency because efficient use of energy can build on individual efforts in power saving instead of having to rely on costly large-scale infrastructure.
Energy independence is being attempted by large or resource-rich and economically-strong countries like the United States, Russia, China and the Near and Middle East, but it is so far an idealized status that at present can be only approximated by non-sustainable exploitation of a country's (non-renewable) natural resources. Another factor in reducing dependence is the addition of renewable energy sources to the energy mix. Usually, a country relies on local and global energy renewable and non-renewable resources, a mixed-model solution that presumes various energy sources and modes of energy transfer between countries like electric power transmission, oil transport (oil and gas pipelines and tankers), etc. The European dependence on Russian energy is a case in point since Russia is Europe's main supplier of hard coal, crude oil, and natural gas. Oil wars in and between the Middle East, Russia, and the United States that have made markets unpredictable and volatile are also a great example as to why energy advocates and experts suggest countries invest in energy independence. The international dependence of energy resources exposes countries to vulnerability in every aspect of life — we rely on energy for food, infrastructure, security, transportation, and more.
Several countries are conducting extensive research and development programs around renewable energy sources like solar, wind, water, and nuclear energy in hopes to achieve energy independence. However, because solar, wind, and water cannot always be derived as an energy source, nuclear energy is seen as a near-universal alternative that is efficient, safe, and combats the climate crisis.
Under the conceived notion that the expansion of and investment in nuclear energy power plants is a key step in the goal of achieving energy independence many countries, and companies, are supporting nuclear power research efforts.
The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), located in France, is an experimental tokamak nuclear fusion reactor that is a collaboration between 35 different countries. This project was launched in 2007 and still under construction today.
- Making Sweden an Oil-Free Society
- United States energy independence
- Energy policy of Turkey
- India's three-stage nuclear power programme
- Phase-out of fossil fuel vehicles
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