International Handbook of Energy Security
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International Handbook of Energy Security

Edited by Hugh Dyer and Maria Julia Trombetta

This Handbook brings together energy security experts to explore the implications of framing the energy debate in security terms, both in respect of the governance of energy systems and the practices associated with energy security.
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Chapter 9: National energy strategies of major industrialized countries

Stephan Schott and Graham Campbell


Energy security in major industrialized countries has traditionally been concerned with securing the supply of particular energy commodities at reasonable cost. For many countries, this has meant a secure supply of fossil fuels in order to support a manufacturing base, to enable increasing living standards based on large centralized electricity grids, and to support fossil fuel based transportation systems. Energy strategies, therefore, typically consisted of ensuring availability of energy commodities and avoiding disruption to energy supplies. This situation has drastically changed in the last two decades as a consequence of the integration of the former Eastern bloc countries into Europe, the ever more visible threat of climate change, new emerging global energy suppliers like Norway, Australia, Canada, China and Russia, and new rapidly growing large scale energy consumers like China and India, which greatly expand opportunities for sale of primary energy commodities to meet their rapidly growing demand. More recent energy strategies are more concerned about securing the supply of energy services, rather than energy commodities per se, moving towards a more diverse suite of energy generation sources, such as nuclear energy and renewable energy technologies. There is a growing trend in weaving energy strategies with either economic development strategies (as in the case of Russia and Norway), economic, regional development and industrial strategies (as in the case of Canada, Australia and Norway), or climate change policies (as in the case of the European Union).

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