Energy Security, Trade and the EU

Energy Security, Trade and the EU

Regional and International Perspectives

Rafael Leal-Arcas, Costantino Grasso and Juan Alemany Ríos

Energy security is a burning issue in a world where 1.4 billion people still have no access to electricity. This book is about finding solutions for energy security through the international trading system. Focusing mainly on the European Union as a case study, this holistic and comprehensive analysis of the existing legal and geopolitical instruments strives to identify the shortcomings of the international and EU energy trade governance systems, concluding with the notion of a European Energy Union and what the EU is politically prepared to accept as part of its unified energy security.

Chapter 5: Renewables, preferential trade agreements and EU energy security

Rafael Leal-Arcas, Costantino Grasso and Juan Alemany Ríos

Subjects: law - academic, energy law, environmental law, international economic law, trade law


A major aim of the international community is to decarbonize the economy. With renewables, international trade in energy is likely to increase. In turn, the international trading system can be a major vehicle towards moving away from fossil fuels to renewable energy. To this end, it can provide fair competition, economies of scale and knowledge transfer. This chapter analyses the impact of European Union (EU) preferential trade agreements (PTAs) in addressing climate change mitigation and energy security by promoting renewables. Currently, there is a proliferation of PTAs; this trend seems irreversible and is likely to persist, given the current crisis in the multilateral trading system. We argue that the EU can, through its network of PTAs, move towards greater energy independence as renewable energy becomes increasingly economically viable. This chapter provides a thorough review of the renewable energy-related provisions in the EU’s current PTAs and recommends three tangible ways in which the EU could capitalize its vast network of PTAs to boost the renewable energy market.

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