Energy independence

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Who supplies Europe? The global concerns of EU energy imports

Energy independence is independence or autarky regarding energy resources, energy supply and/or energy generation by the energy industry.

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.[2] 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.[3][4][5]

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,[6][7] Russia,[8] China[9][10] and the Near[11] and Middle East,[12][13] 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.[14][15][16][17] 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 good example because Russia is Europe's main supplier of hard coal, crude oil, and natural gas.[18] 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.

Planning and co-ordination in the strive for energy independence are the business of energy policy and energy management.

Techniques for energy independence[edit]

Renewable energy[edit]

A study found that transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy systems reduces risks from mining, trade and political dependence because renewable energy systems don't need fuel – they depend on trade only for the acquisition of materials and components during construction.[19] Renewable energy is found to be an efficient way to ensure energy independence and security. It also supports the transition to a low carbon economy and society.[20] Ways to manage the variability of renewable energy – such as little solar power on cloudy days – include dispatchable generation and smart grids. Bioenergy hydropower and hydrogen energy could be used for such purposes alongside storage-options like batteries.[21]

Nuclear power[edit]

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.

In 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded $160 million in initial funding to TerraPower and X-energy to build advanced nuclear reactors that will be affordable to construct and operate. Both companies are expected to produce their product within 7 years.[22]

In that same tone, there are several other companies and institutions across the globe that are gaining attention from their nuclear power innovations and research efforts. Commonwealth Fusion Systems, founded in 2018, is focusing on the development of nuclear fusion.[23] In 2020, The Energy Impact Center launched its OPEN100 project, the world's first open-source blueprint for the design, construction, and financing of nuclear power plants.[24] General Fusion is a Canadian company currently developing a fusion power device, based on magnetized target fusion.[23] Flibe Energy aims to tackle the future of nuclear energy by researching and developing the liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR).[23]

In addition, safe and cost-effective storage of nuclear waste in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and full version of this underground storage in New Mexico is important for the nuclear fuel cycle.

See also[edit]

Related concepts[edit]

National efforts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Error". ec.europa.eu.
  2. ^ "Energy security indices in Europe / Economic Challenges for Energy Workshop February 7-8th 2011, Madrid" (PDF). eforenergy.org/. 2011.
  3. ^ Hölsgens, Rick (2019). "Resource dependence and energy risks in the Netherlands since the mid-nineteenth century". Energy Policy. Elsevier BV. 125: 45–54. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2018.10.020. ISSN 0301-4215.
  4. ^ Bluszcz, Anna (5 May 2016). "European economies in terms of energy dependence". Quality & Quantity. Springer Nature. 51 (4): 1531–1548. doi:10.1007/s11135-016-0350-1. ISSN 0033-5177. PMC 5486912. PMID 28725090.
  5. ^ Bryce, Robert (2008). Gusher of lies : the dangerous delusions of energy independence. New York: PublicAffairs. ISBN 978-1-58648-321-0. OCLC 174112731.
  6. ^ Homans, Charles (3 January 2012). "Energy Independence: A Short History". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  7. ^ Lack, Simon (28 January 2019). "American Energy Independence Is Imminent". Forbes. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  8. ^ "International - Analysis - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) - Russia". 9 July 2019. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  9. ^ Zhao, H. (2018). The Economics and Politics of China's Energy Security Transition. Elsevier Science. p. 106. ISBN 978-0-12-815153-2. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  10. ^ Li, Xing; Clark, Woodrow W. (2018). "Energy Economics in China's Policy-Making Plan". Sustainable Cities and Communities Design Handbook. Elsevier. pp. 325–349. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-813964-6.00017-3. ISBN 978-0-12-813964-6.
  11. ^ El-Katiri, Laura (1 January 2014). "A Roadmap for Renewable Energy in the Middle East and North Africa". ORA. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  12. ^ "A Bright Future For Solar Power In The Middle East". Global Economic Intersection. 23 April 2016. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  13. ^ Nematollahi, Omid; Hoghooghi, Hadi; Rasti, Mehdi; Sedaghat, Ahmad (2016). "Energy demands and renewable energy resources in the Middle East". Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. Elsevier BV. 54: 1172–1181. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2015.10.058. ISSN 1364-0321.
  14. ^ "When will fossil fuels run out?". Ecotricity. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  15. ^ Simon, C.A. (2007). Alternative Energy: Political, Economic, and Social Feasibility. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-7425-4909-8. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  16. ^ RenewEconomy, Giles Parkinson (9 April 2014). "Arvizu: Why the Current Energy System Is Unsustainable". Greentech Media. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  17. ^ "Unsustainable Energy". CELDF. 4 August 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  18. ^ "Russia has maintained though throughout the whole period 2007-2017 its position as the leading supplier to the EU of the main primary energy commodities – hard coal, crude oil and natural gas" https://web.archive.org/web/20191019113648/https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Energy_production_and_imports
  19. ^ Krane, Jim; Idel, Robert (1 December 2021). "More transitions, less risk: How renewable energy reduces risks from mining, trade and political dependence". Energy Research & Social Science. 82: 102311. doi:10.1016/j.erss.2021.102311. ISSN 2214-6296.
  20. ^ Lin, Boqiang; Zhu, Junpeng (1 October 2019). "Determinants of renewable energy technological innovation in China under CO2 emissions constraint". Journal of Environmental Management. 247: 662–671. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.06.121. ISSN 0301-4797.
  21. ^ Schulthoff, Michael; Rudnick, Ivan; Bose, Abhishek; Gençer, Emre (2021). "Role of Hydrogen in a Low-Carbon Electric Power System: A Case Study". Frontiers in Energy Research. 8: 344. doi:10.3389/fenrg.2020.585461. ISSN 2296-598X.
  22. ^ "U.S. Department of Energy Announces $160 Million in First Awards under Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program". Energy.gov. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  23. ^ a b c Earley, Kelly (27 February 2020). "6 start-ups innovating in the field of nuclear energy". Silicon Republic. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  24. ^ Proctor, Darrell (25 February 2020). "Tech Guru's Plan—Fight Climate Change with Nuclear Power". Power Magazine. Retrieved 18 October 2021.

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