Support and guidance - Unit 3, topic 1: Energy Security

Report
6GEO3 Unit 3 Contested Planet
Energy Security
What is this topic about?
• Energy is fundamental to our
lives, and we often take it for
granted
• This topic explores our energy
supply, and asks challenging
questions about it
• Can we continue to rely on
fossil fuels, or do we need a
radical switch in energy
sources?
• Energy is very closely linked to
climate change as fossil fuels
(our main energy source) are
the main source of greenhouse
gas emissions.
CONTENTS
1. Energy supply, demand and
security
2. The impacts of energy insecurity
3. Energy security and the future
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1. Energy supply, demand
and security
There are a wide range of energy resources, with different security of
supply and environmental issues:
Non-renewable
Renewable
Recyclable
A finite stock of resources,
which will run out
A flow of resources, which
is infinite in human terms
Can be used repeatedly, if
managed carefully
Coal, oil, gas (plus oil shale,
Biomass, nuclear (with
tar sands, lignite etc.)
Wind, solar, hydroelectric,
wave, tidal, geothermal
•Significant environmental
impacts during extraction
(oil wells, opencast mines)
•Greenhouse gas emissions
during use, and acidic
emissions
•May require large areas
(solar arrays, wind farms)
for operation.
•NIMBY issues.
•Limited / no greenhouse
emissions.
•Large land area needed
for biomass.
•Largely unresolved
issues of storing high
level radioactive waste.
reprocessing of fuel)
Life cycle analysis
Life cycle analysis accounts for
C02 emissions at all stages
of the energy supply chain, not
simply during use 
• Comparing the environmental impact of
different energy sources is a challenge
• Life cycle greenhouse emissions is one
approach
• Even this does not account for NIMBY issues
(e.g. windfarms), or the loss of ecosystems
and biodiversity linked to extraction of
fossil fuels
• Some sources, such as nuclear and biomass
are highly controversial and there is
intense debate over their ‘green’
credentials.
Access to energy
• Direct access to fossil fuel
reserves is a coincidence of
geological history and
international boundaries.
• Some countries find themselves
with more fossil fuel sources
than their needs
• Others have none
• Reserves run down over time, as
is the gas with the UK’s once
abundant North Sea oil and gas
• Remaining oil and gas will
increasingly concentrate in the
Middle East over the next 30
years.
Top 15 countries by oil, gas and coal
reserves in 2008
Access to renewables
•
•
•
•
Most renewable energy is constrained by
physical geography, and especially climate
This means its availability is place specific
The UK has significant renewable potential,
especially wind, although it is a small
country with limited land area; most HEP
sites are already used.
Many renewables are intermittent energy
sources, so energy must be stored (very
costly and technically difficult) or backed
up by another source
Source
Physical limitations
Wind
Requires wind speeds of 8-25 mph
Solar PV
Works best in areas of over 6 kwh
per sq. metre per day
Biomass
Requires large land area for
feedstock
HEP
Suitable valleys i.e. long, deep and
relatively narrow, and predictable
water supply
UK renewable potential
Access to energy
• Which energy sources are used is not simply a matter of which
fossil fuels or renewable forms are available in a country
• Other factors influence choice of energy sources
• Cost is critical, as people are sensitive to energy sources
• Nuclear power station construction ground to a standstill after
the 1986 Chernobyl accident.
Technology
Attitudes
Cost
• Technology is required to drill, mine, process etc, and is not
available everywhere e.g. LDCs.
• Public attitudes may be anti-nuclear, or NIMBYISM may block wind
turbines or dams.
• While desirable, technologies like wave and hydrogen may be too
expensive due to technical challenges.
Energy poverty
• Lack of access to energy resources is common in the developing world
• Reliance of fuel wood, farm waste and dung is high and fossil fuel
consumption low
• Up to 40% of the world’s population rely on these sources as their
primary cooking and heating fuel
• Close to 2 billion people have no access to electricity
• Access to cheap, reliable energy is strongly related to development as
so much of ‘modern’ life and industry depends on it.
Demand
• Global demand for energy
has risen dramatically,
especially since the 1960s
• Demand doubled between
1960 and 1980
• Growth in demand has been
slower since 1980, but is
projected to rise by up to
60% between 2002 and 2030
and continue upward.
• The BRIC countries, as well
as other large developing
nations (Mexico, Indonesia)
have contributed to much to
recent increases in demand
and are likely to do so in the
future.
• Further industrialisation
inevitably brings demands for
cars and consumer goods, all
of which need power.
Security
• Energy security depends on
a number of factors (see
table)
• Countries with a diverse
energy ‘mix’ are less at risk
than those relying on 1 or 2
sources
• Renewable potential could
be used to offset declining
fossil fuel reserves or
supply interruptions
• Reliance on long distance
international trade in fossil
fuels may be risky
• Demand and dependency
are important too, as it is
difficult to replace a large
amount of oil with another
energy source for instance
Domestic fossil
fuel reserves
Domestic renewable
potential
Countries like Italy and
Japan have few of their
own resources
Small, crowded nations like
Singapore and South Korea
lack renewable potential
Domestic energy
mix
Import pathway
risk
France relies heavily on
nuclear power, and the
UK on gas.
The UK imports gas from
Russia and Qatar, both long
distance pathways.
2. The impacts of energy insecurity
• Fossil fuel supply regions are
poorly matched with areas of
largest demand
• This is especially true for oil
and gas
• Energy must flow along
international pathways from
producer to consumer
• These are either pipelines
(oil and gas), bulk carriers
(coal, uranium), LNG tankers
(gas) or oil tankers.
Electricity is also exported /
imported.
• Pathways could be
disrupted, increasing energy
insecurity.
Natural
disasters
e.g.
hurricane
Katrina
Producer’s
supply
simply
runs out
Technical
interruptio
n to
production
Price and
payment
disputes
Pathway
disruption
Diversion
of supply,
perhaps
for a
higher
price
Piracy e.g.
off the
Somali
coast
Terrorism
or conflict
closing
choke
points
Political
discord
between
supplier
and
consumer
Risks of disruption
• Gas pipeline disruption has already occurred, as disputes between Russia
and Ukraine disrupted European gas supplies in 2006 and 2009
• Russia holds 25% of world gas reserves, the Middle East 40% (and 56% of
oil)
• Disruption to narrow ocean choke points (see map) could seriously affect
the flow of oil
• Countries close to some choke points are unstable (Iran, Somalia, Yemen)
Risks of disruption
• There are real risks if oil and gas
supplies are disrupted.
• Any potential disruption is headline
news
• So dependent are we on cheap,
uninterrupted energy supplies that
disruption could lead to:
1. Soaring energy costs and rising
energy poverty
2. Pressure on politicians to act;
possibly rationing energy
3. Civil disruption
4. Rising costs for industry, job losses
and recession
5. Unsound decisions (economically
and environmentally) to rapidly
develop alternative sources
6. Diplomatic conflict
UK energy disruption
Oct
1973
Oil crisis; petrol
rationing
Sept
2000
UK wide fuel protests
over price and tax
Aug
2005
Further UK protests;
Hurricane Katrina
pushes oil prices higher
Aug
2008
Oil at $147 a barrel
Jan
2010
National Grid ‘gas
balancing alerts’ are
headline news ; gas
supply from Norway
drops on technical
problems
Supply: new sources
• As oil prices remain high, and fears of ‘peak oil and gas’ increase the
search is on for new sources:
Example
Source
Technical challenge
Environmental
impacts
Canadian
(Athabasca)
tar sands
Bitumen combined
with sand / rock
under boreal forests;
close to surface
MODERATE
Strip mining or extraction by
steam; gas is used to heat
the sands and extract oil.
HIGH
Energy intensive extraction
and destruction of
ecosystems
Arctic oil
Conventional oil in
fragile wilderness
region, both on and
offshore
LOW
Conventional drilling and
extraction; Arctic oil has
been taken from Prudhoe
Bay for decades.
MODERATE
Fragile environment but
production has relatively
small footprint
West of
Shetland,
Foinaven field
Conventional oil in
deep ocean water
HIGH
Production began in 1997,
but using ‘floating’ rigs
LOW
Low risk of spills and
limited impact on sea bed
USA (Green
River) oil
shale
Bitumen encased in
solid rock
MODERATE
Opencast mining, then can
be directly burnt or heated
to drive off oil.
HIGH
Large areas mined, scarring
landscape and energy
intensive production
Viable alternatives?
• The chart below shows the estimates oil price required for each
energy resource to be competitive with oil and gas without any form
of State support or subsidy
Economic viability of energy sources
Offshore wind
Onshore wind
European biodiesel
USA Corn ethanol
Sugar cane ethanol
Tar sands
Coal to liquids
Oil Shale
Deep water oil
Conventional Oil other
Conventional Oil Middle East
0
20
40
60
80
100
Oil price US$
Source: the FT 2009
120
140
160
Players
• The diagram below summarises the role of some key players in the energy
supply
Governments
Consumers
Often highly price
sensitive; can exert
pressure on politicians.
National energy mix;
renewable policy;
subsidies and grants
Energy TNCs
Exploration for reserves,
exploitation and refining;
distribution of oil
Scientists, R&D
Research into alterative fuels
and applications ; efficiency
gains
Energy
Players
Generators and
Distributors
Vital infrastructure
(National Grid) and power
stations
Environmentalists
Pressure to adopt
renewables and reduce
carbon intensity; campaigns
OPEC
Key role in the global oil price,
by managing production
Big oil: TNCs and OPEC
‘Supermajor’ TNCs
State owned oil giants
Total
Fr
Saudi Aramco
Saudi Arabia
BP
UK
Gazprom
Russia
Shell
UK/Nl
CNPC
China
Chevron
USA
Petrobras
Brazil
ExxonMobil
USA
NOIC
Iran
ConocoPhilips
USA
PDVSA
Venezuela
• Supermajor and
other oil and gas
TNCs control most
oil and gas
extraction,
refining and
distribution.
• State owned oil
companies own /
control access to
95% of world oil
and gas reserves
• OPEC is
effectively a price
control cartel,
with considerable
power.
3. Energy security and the future
• There are several key
uncertainties relating to
energy futures:
• Future demand is uncertain –
it partly depends on future
population and economic
growth
• The lifespan of fossil fuel
reserves, especially oil, is
unknown
• The extent to which we
exploit unconventional oil
(see image)
• The extent and timing of
switching from fossil fuel to
renewables is uncertain.
• Peak oil and gas are
important; after peak
production prices can only
rise.
The nuclear option?
• Opinion is divided over whether
nuclear power is the answer
• It provides about 15% of the
world’s electricity, but only 2% of
all energy needs
• There are over 400 reactors in 30
countries, but few currently
being built
Advantages
Disadvantages
•Fuel sources (see
map)
•Low life cycle
carbon emissions.
•Constant power
output
•Takes up little
space .
•Large power output
per plant
•Public distrust.
•High initial cost.
•Long build times.
•High level waste
disposal.
•Fears of terrorism.
•Nuclear
proliferation.
•Technically
challenging
Biofuels?
• Biofuels have the advantage of
being flexible liquids
• As such they can replace diesel
(biodiesel) and petrol (bioethanol)
• However, they require food
crops as feedstocks (sugar cane,
maize etc)
• This means land that could be
used for food.
• In 2007-08 explosive growth of
biofuel crop area was blamed for
pushing up global food prices
• Biofuels are not carbon neutral,
because of the energy used in
farming, transport and refining.
Future biofuels might not use
food crops:
1st generation – food crops
2nd generation – crop wastes
3rd generation – algae
Geopolitics
• There are a number of sources of tension, both present and future,
related to energy security and the threat of insecurity:
Scenario
Explanation
Consequences
Oil hits $100
•Sustained oil price of over $100 per
barrel, for several years.
•Prolonged economic recession
and rising fuel poverty in OECD
countries
Middle East
meltdown
•Tensions in the Gulf escalate into war
between Muslim factions; possibly
involving Iran, Iraq, Israel, Syria, Turkey
and others.
•Interruption of oil and gas flows;
rising prices; tension between
China and USA to secure oil supply
The nuclear
option
•Wholesale shifting towards nuclear to
replace fossil fuels, leads to global spread
of nuclear power and technology
•Power stations become ‘soft
targets’ for terrorism; enriched
uranium and depleted plutonium
get into the wrong hands….
Energy
superpowers
•The Gulf States hold 60%+ of oil reserves
and Russia/Qatar/ Iran 60%+ of gas; the
world has not shifted to renewables.
•Energy superpowers begin to
‘name their price’ and take care
of their friends; major
geopolitical shifts
Arctic attack
•Canada, Russia, USA and EU begin to
exploit the Arctic for oil and gas, but
without clear delineation of territorial
areas.
•A war or words over who has the
right to exploit what, quickly
becomes a new cold war – possibly
a hot one……
Future challenges
• What are our energy
challenges in 2010?
There are some that
are obvious:
• Reduce dependency
on fossil fuels to
increase energy
security
• Increase renewable
energy use as fossil
fuels become more
expensive / peak
• Reduce greenhouse
gas emissions
• Increase access to
energy in developing
nations
Mix it up
•Wind, solar and others can be
used to diversify energy
sources.
•This would increase security,
but could also reduce
greenhouse emissions.
Technology for all
•Aid could be used to help
developing nations grow their
renewable sectors
•Intermediate technology is
key to this.
•They need energy, but
without greenhouse emissions.
Tax it down
•Green taxes i.e. taxing fossil
fuel use, could encourage
efficiency
•Greenhouse emissions would
fall as efficiency rises
•The dirtiest fuels could be
taxed the most.
Self generation
•Homes can generate
renewable energy using ground
source heat pumps, micro-wind
and solar PV / thermal
•This would diversify the
energy mix, reduce emissions
and increase self-reliance.

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