Edited by Hugh Dyer and Maria Julia Trombetta
Chapter 3: Framing new threats: the internal security of gas and electricity networks in the European Union
Most studies investigating the concept of energy security begin by drawing attention to the different interpretations thereof (Chester 2010; Winzer 2012). The large number of conceptual approaches arise from differences between academic disciplines (economics, engineering, political science), historical contexts (the prevailing market and political conditions at the time), levels of development (advanced/developing/underdeveloped countries), timeframes (short-term/ medium-/ long-term outlooks), market dimensions (demand or supply, liberalised or regulated), value chain (upstream/transport/downstream/end use), levels of analysis (individual, sectoral, national, regional, or global) and the primary or transformed fuel in question (oil, coal, gas, nuclear and renewables on the one hand and electricity, heat or refined products on the other). The variable interaction of these factors lends an inordinate level of complexity to the issue of energy security, which is further compounded by the varying perceptions by different actors depending on their role and position in the energy supply chain. Indeed, for an energy-exporting firm, security is predominantly about maintaining the ability to serve foreign markets and to keep up a sufficient level of demand and revenue from energy production.
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