Seven Attributes of a Nation’s Energy Supply

The security of a nation’s energy supply has become one of the most important issues facing the industrial countries of the world, as well as the emerging nations of the third world that are energy hungry . There are several aspects of energy that are of concern to a nation’s security. The following are a few of the most important components.

An adequate supply of energy
This is somewhat obvious, but people have a tendency to forget it. Nations will go to war over it, and often the reason is a lack of foresight. It is important to develop and secure the energy a nation needs today as well as tomorrow. Without an adequate supply of energy, a growing country can choke itself and slow down.

A supply of energy that is low cost
The supply of energy should ideally be low in cost. A plentiful supply of energy at high prices does not help a nation. High prices can stifle growth, and in extreme situations, it can send a nation’s economy into a recession.

The supply needs to be continuous
That is to say, the supply should have few, if any, interruptions. Energy supplies that are interrupted can cause havoc to an economy. The predictability of an energy supply can be as important as price. Energy that is higher than desired can still be compatible with healthy economic growth, if the supply is continuous and plentiful.

The supply needs to be of different types
Although oil has been the dominant energy type in the last century, nations around the world have begun to understand that an economy needs to be able to utilize more than one type of fuel. By having a variety of energy utilizations, an economy will be less likely to be disrupted by shortages and price spikes. Among the types of energy that countries are beginning to expand usage of includes natural gas, wind and solar power.

Domestic production
Although the world is interconnected economically, it is becoming clear that no nation should be dependent on all of its energy needs from foreign nations and the open market. By having a certain amount of domestic energy production, a nation is not at the mercy of other nations.

The energy should be clean
Although this is not high on the list, as each day passes, it is becoming apparent that clean energy is important to every nation as well as the world. Nations that have experienced rapid growth without tight regulations on pollution standards are experiencing high levels of both water and air pollution. It makes no sense to use cheap, but dirty, energy for economic growth, when the result is a low quality living standard for a nation’s citizenry.

Timely investment in energy development
Investment is a long-term strategy for energy and helps to create stable energy supplies and prices. These investments are not only in the development of new energy supplies, both foreign and domestic, but they also include the development of technology that can utilize energy in various forms and do so more efficiently.

If you are interested in more information about the importance of Energy Security, there are many good books on the subject. One example is The Quest by Daniel Yergin.