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To What Extent Are Domestic Energy Resources Important in Determining the Energy Security of Countries?

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(b) To what extent are domestic energy resources important in determining the energy security of countries? (15)

To have energy security means to have access to reliable and affordable energy sources. E.g. Russia and their natural gas reserves. Countries/regions/localities that do not haver this are said to be energy insecure. E.g. Rural communities in Zimbabwe or the UK winter fuel allowance for the elderly is a recognition of fuel poverty. Domestic energy resources refers to the energy produced from a primary product, within the country.

It may be seen that domestic energy resources are important in determining the energy security of the country. This may be because countries that rely on exported energy from other countries are more vulnerable to political issues. An example of this is the Russia-Ukraine dispute over prices of gas. On 31st December 2008, Russia and Ukraine hadn't come to an agreement on the price Russia would pay for transit through Ukraine, and the price Russia would charge Ukraine for the gas. This led to a halt in gas transit, when Russia decided to cut supplies off on New Year's Day, 2009. EU depends on Russia for a quarter of its gas supplies, in which 80% is pumped through Ukraine. When supplies were cut off, many countries down the line were affected. A country particularly affected was Bulgaria, who relies on some 80% of their gas imports. Bulgaria said, at the time of the incident, that they only had sufficient supplies ‘for a few days’. It said there was no more gas flowing through a pipeline that also supplies Turkey, Macedonia and Greece. This shows that one dispute between two countries, can have a massive knock-on effect down the line. It demonstrates that, if you rely on foreign exports, you are more likely to be greatly affected. Countries that rely on export are considered less energy secure, as at any time their supples can…...

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