چالش اقتصادی امنیت انرژی: اطمینان از منافع انرژی در حمایت از توسعه پایدار
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|29452||2012||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8757 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Energy Economics, Volume 34, Issue 6, November 2012, Pages 1982–1989
Energy is a key-resource to economic development and is required to be available continuously and in adequate amounts. Also, it is expected to be affordable and environmentally friendly. Ensuring this is a challenge, yet strategic to maintain economies running under a sustainable pattern. Energy security is neither a new concept, nor a new concern. However, because of new issues, it requires a novel, broader approach. Such an approach should address both demand (security of supply) and supply (security of demand) sides, as well as take into account energy scarcity situations and surplus opportunities. In addition, it should allow for both private (markets) and public (policies and regulations) initiatives. This paper presents a theoretical and practical basis for the economics of energy security. Energy security is defined, in this context, as the ability of an economy to provide sufficient, affordable and environmentally sustainable energy services so as to maintain a maximum welfare state, even when issues would press it otherwise. We introduce the notion of energy security gap to represent the economy's failure to show such ability. Additionally, we also propose a framework to support the evaluation, planning and implementation of energy security in an economy. This framework relies on the concepts of resilience, adaptability and transformability (Walker et al, 2004) to prescribe indicators to assess the energy security of an economy. Furthermore, it proposes mechanisms to enhance energy security, as well as a continuous process to increasingly achieve this.
Energy and development are closely related: while abundant, energy can support economic and welfare growth; when scarce, it may limit economic expansion and lead to changes in technological and consumption patterns.2 Energy availability hence sets the development path of a society (Martin, 1992). That explains why energy security has been a recurrent issue since the rise of industrial society (Yergin, 2002), a “pillar of energy policy for about a century,” (IEA, 2007) and, especially after the 1970s oil shocks, part of most countries' political and development agendas. Constantin (2005) points out that there are two schools of thought concerning energy security. The first takes a “realist” or strategic view of the matter, under which economies would “struggle to control the sources of a strategic energy resource, oil.” It would lead to recommendations like self-sufficiency, or diversification of supply sources and of the energy mix. The second, more “liberal” school of thought argues that “oil is becoming less strategic and should be considered as a normal commodity.” Government should thus intervene only in the face of externalities. Both approaches are supply-oriented and focused on oil, and consider that protecting the environment is “a goal competing with security” (Constantin, 2005) The energy security concept, however, has been evolving, from ensuring oil supply and dealing with the macroeconomic consequences of oil disruptions and/or price changes, to include many other concerns. Among these, we may list: availability of resources to meet future demand; political conflicts and terrorism; natural disasters and other severe weather events; and environmental―particularly climate change―issues (WEF, 2006). Further, it has now several meanings3 (Alhaji, 2008) which typically depend on the size of the economy, its energy self-sufficiency level, and the role it plays in the globally interrelated energy system. Evaluating, planning and implementing energy security in an economy are therefore currently a challenge. The literature on the subject, which ranges from theoretical to applied approaches, provides a large set of proposals covering not only indicators to evaluate but policy measures to enhance energy security as well.4 Indicators help in measuring energy security levels and are useful for international and inter-temporal comparisons. Policies seek both at reducing the exposition of an economy to the risk of energy shortages or disruptions, and at minimizing their impacts. Most of the literature, however, is influenced by local, regional, or temporal factors, and tend to prioritize some specific aspects in detriment of a broader view of the problem. Alhaji (2008) points out the lack of a discussion about interactions among the various dimensions of energy security, and the weight given to them in the formulation of energy policies. As per our analysis, the existing proposals are mostly asymmetric in the sense that they typically concentrate on: (a) security of supply, disregarding the relevance of the security of demand in dealing with the issue; and (b) the idea that only energy scarcity matters, thus ignoring lost opportunities of not taking advantage of energy surpluses in the economy. Nevertheless, the indicators and mitigating measures proposed are undoubtedly consistent with the vision their advocators have on the matter. Further, as von Hippel et al (2011) argue, despite basic differences found in the concept of energy security, “energy security policies in various countries are now showing trends of ‘convergence’ rather than ‘divergence’.” Indeed, we observe the existing proposals share a common, general rationale for energy security, which is ensuring that energy is physically and economically available to support economic growth. Here we elaborate on additional aspects of this issue. Energy security, in this context, represents the guarantee that individuals and firms in an economy are able to benefit from the welfare that energy can create.5 It is actually a good,6 which is produced and consumed in any modern economy, either by agents in the energy supply chain7 or in energy end-use sectors. Whenever an agent in the energy supply chain implements a mechanism that reduces the risk of supply shortages or disruptions, or yet ensures that higher levels of demand can be met, it is providing energy security to all further agents downstream in the economy.8 Likewise, if an energy consumer agent accepts the risks associated to maintaining a regular level of energy consumption, or ensures that higher levels of energy supply can be absorbed, it is also producing energy security for all further agents upstream in the economy. In addition, similarly to any other good, the production of energy security raises concerns about its environmental footprint. So does its affordability, given its inherent relation to energy, an essential good.9 This paper presents a theoretical and practical basis for the economics of energy security. Energy security is defined, in this context, as the (desirable) ability of an economy to provide sufficient, affordable and environmentally sustainable energy services so as to maintain a maximum welfare state, 10even when issues would press it otherwise. We introduce the notion of energy security gap to show the economy's failure to present such ability. Additionally, we develop a general approach which: (a) addresses the matter from the perspective of both demand and supply sides, with no spatial, temporal or sectoral constraints; (b) complies with any energy system (economic and physical) structure, regardless of either the energy security risk factors to which it is exposed or the mitigating measures it has available; (c) supports inter-economy and inter-temporal benchmarking. The whole idea is organized into a framework intending to support the evaluation, planning and implementation of energy security in an economy. The framework encompasses indicators to assess and mechanisms to enhance energy security. In addition, it prescribes a continuous improvement process to reduce the energy security gap. In the following, Section 2 conceptualizes energy security; Section 3 describes the framework; and Section 4 summarizes the proposal, discussing some of its benefits and limitations.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Energy is a key-resource to economic development, which is unfortunately taken for granted as an affordable and always available asset. Yet the production and use of energy exerts in general negative impacts on the environment. Therefore, to maintain the option of a sustainable development open, it is essential that energy is not only always available and affordable, but environmentally sound as well. Understanding the concept of energy security under this perspective is vital. However, this concept is “notorious for its vague and slippery nature, no less so because it is bound to mean different things at different times to different actors within the international energy system” (Isbell, 2007). In addition, it is commonly addressed exclusively from the demand side point of view, dealing only with energy scarcity issues. Neglecting supply side concerns obscures the very role of the security of demand in guaranteeing a market for energy suppliers, which ultimately ensures a continuous flow of energy. It also overlooks the benefits that the markets' assimilation of energy surpluses can bring to the economy, even if under diminishing returns. All these aspects thus open space for a broader approach to the matter. In this paper, the concept of energy security develops on the economic concepts of productive and allocative efficiency, along with the idea of environmental efficiency. Energy security is defined as the ability of an economy to provide sustainable energy services in order to maintain a maximum welfare state. Welfare, in this case: (a) arises from both the production and consumption of energy services; and (b) depends on the economy's capacity to mitigate detrimental impacts and potentiate benefits ensuing from energy related issues. An economy's inability to maintain a maximum welfare state because of those issues results in an energy security gap. Reducing such a gap is therefore tantamount to providing the economy with energy security. The paper introduces a framework to support the evaluation, planning and implementation of energy security. The framework is designed to cover a wide range of energy security issues, including those that are originated in the natural and the political environments, which sometimes lay away from economic rationale. In the framework, the energy security gap is evaluated after the energy resilience of the economy, a measure reflecting its ability to cope with energy related issues. The adaptability of the economy, characterized by its idle capacity, diversity and flexibility attributes, denotes the ability to handle short term changes. The capacity to address existing deviations and long term trends arises from the transformability of the economy, a property derived from processes that aim at ensuring an adequate balance of energy supply and demand, as well as improving the economy's energy efficiency, reducing its energy related environmental impacts and maintaining energy affordability. Most of those characteristics of an economy and their relation to energy security are widely described in the literature, but the framework presented here attempts to integrate them into a single approach and make them more operational. On the other hand, the abstract nature and open-structure of the framework proves useful for dealing with any particularities of an energy system and its relation with the rest of the economy. It is, however, to be tested in actual applications. 41 To this end it is necessary to develop a methodology for planning the transformation process, which should consider the roles of both public and private sectors in contributing to the improvement of the economy's energy security. Additionally, it would require methods and tools for a detailed modeling of the interactions among the production and use of energy, the rest of the economy and the environment, in order to simulate the consequences brought about by selected energy related issues. The modeling environment should consider the physical and network aspects of the energy infrastructure, and be capable of capturing markets interactions and behavior, preferably under a general equilibrium approach. Comparative static would be useful to evaluate the economy's energy adaptability, and a dynamic model should be used to represent the evolving processes of the economy as well as its transformability. Such requirements pose a challenge indeed, not only in terms of data availability, but with regard to model calibration and computational efforts as well. Those difficulties are expected to increase with the economy's level of energy security, i.e., (a) the higher the economy's adaptability, the more numerous and extensive the existing mitigating mechanisms; and (b) the more sophisticated the evolving processes, the more complex their representation. Nevertheless, the results of such efforts should be worthwhile, since they could provide clues about the performance of an economy in relation to its energy resilience. Finally, we would like to emphasize the paper's economic approach to the subject. When energy security is understood as a good, the tools of the economic theory can be applied and comparisons made, either inter-economy or inter-temporal. Furthermore, the approach is scalable, either up or down. In other words, energy security thus defined can be assessed either from an agent point of view or at a sectoral, regional or global level. But all this is part of an open debate and ongoing research, which will hopefully be able to develop a general, unified approach to the economics of energy security.