International Handbook of Energy Security
Show Less

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.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 20: Ethical dimensions of renewable energy

Hugh Dyer


Our sense of insecurity with respect to energy is enough to warrant consideration of how relative energy security might be obtained, yet the most obvious source of insecurity is our collective failure to plan adequately for inevitable changes, which will be forced upon us sooner or later. On the assumption that justice and equity must underwrite the feasibility of any energy strategies, we need an ethical framework for energy which includes as a central concern the lack of human security in respect of the allocation of limited resources. For the sake of our common humanity, and for posterity, there appears to be a clear moral imperative for pursuing renewable sources of energy. At the same time, political and economic trade-offs suggest this has not yet been taken seriously. It seems clear enough that the pursuit of any meaningful energy security policy will require anticipation of future post-carbon scenarios. This requires a perspective on ‘the age of petroleum’ as only a recent and relatively short-run phenomenon in the long run of human energy supply (up to the late 19th century provided by biomass and animate labour, and now in the 21st century increasingly by renewables). The alternatives to fossil fuels clearly exist, though it ‘will take a new industrial revolution’ (Scheer 2002) or an ‘energy revolution’ (Geller 2002).

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.