461315 Constructing a Framework for Measuring National Energy Security

Friday, November 18, 2016: 12:30 PM
Golden Gate 6 (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Richard C. Darton, Engineering Science, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom and Colin J. Axon, Institute of Energy Futures, Brunel University London, London, United Kingdom

Energy policy in many countries, driven by concerns about energy security and environmental damage, is promoting a shift from fossil fuels to a variety of renewable sources. We examine risks to energy security arising from resource discovery and fuel processing, conversion, and use. We analyse the whole of the supply chain for renewable and non-renewable fuels, both current and potential sources, in a national context. The result is a set of indicators summarising the issues which are important for energy security.

Sustainability and energy security are concepts which share common features, some of which are poorly defined or lacking good data. We use the Process Analysis Method for systematically selecting indicators to measure a nation’s energy security which includes environmental, human/social, and economic elements within a single self-consistent framework. This is a triple-bottom-line method of assessment, particularly suitable for complex systems where quantitative numerical models cannot be constructed. To use the indicators in a particular case we require a description of the energy supply and demand system, and we show how this can be constructed to meet the needs of the analysis. Appropriate energy and economic data are needed, together with assessments of issues such as political stability, international relations, and demand management. Although ill-defined, these must be included because of their potential importance. The method underlines the need for assessments and data relating to many issues which are commonly not considered as part of energy security.

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