Has the global expansion of energy markets truly improved energy security?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Global energy trade volumes have sharply increased over the past three decades, creating a more connected energy system. Increasing demand for energy, the emergence of unconventional fossil fuels, increasing environmental awareness, and technological progress in energy technologies have led to significant changes in national energy mixes and in global trade patterns. For many countries, energy security is the dominant concern in the design of energy trade strategies and policies. In this paper, we present a systematic analysis of the factors shaping the global energy trade network, considering several energy security indicators as well as broader economic considerations. We observe that, in line with energy security considerations, most countries have indeed increased the number of their trade connections resulting in a more densely connected global energy network. However, a substantial part of countries’ energy commodity imports often still comes only from a few incumbent suppliers. Due to this supplier concentration global energy security does not increase with the expansion of the energy markets. Increasing energy security will require fundamental changes in the organization of the energy market in terms of contracts and the flexibility of energy infrastructures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111931
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy Policy
Volume148
Issue numberA
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Energy security
  • Primary energy trade
  • Trade network

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