Energy Security in the 21st Century: A Challenging Reality for the Transatlantic Region

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The problem of energy has become the most important instrument determining the contours of the new geopolitics (rivalry, alliances and cooperation) in 21st century international relations. In this regard, the rise of new emergent powers with their excessive demands for energy as well as the rise of new independent energy sources based in different countries, along with the new technological discoveries in different sectors of energy, has triggered constant change and competition amongst state and non-state actors in the international system. Since human demand for energy continues to rise along with the requirements of modern life, energy security is likely to remain one of the most important matters of concern, not only for the continuity of the individual state’s survival but also as a complex matter for future global and regional cooperation and competition. As Gawdat Bahgat said recently, ‘’We are witnessing revolutionary movements in the energy security landscape where (i) more oil and gas is entering into the international market and technology is making a distinctive role in this, (ii) in contrast to the developing countries in the world, the developing countries, due to the strategic preferences and energy efficiency based policies, are now demonstrating less consumption. For instance, the EU energy fossil fuel consumption level has not increased but remained constant in the last few years, (iii) the energy trade route that has already shifted from West to East demonstrates the new geopolitical change in trade direction and (iv) the trend in energy consumption has moved away from fossil fuels towards renewables and nuclear plants, as the result of worldwide diversification”   

All in all, due to all these revolutionary changes, the energy security issue has gained the attention of the IR community, and it is believed that some of the old means have become insufficient to meet the energy security of individual states. A new assessment is therefore required to reformulate each and every individual country’s strategy for how best to cope with its energy security under this shifting geopolitically environment. The future energy relationship between the US and Europe, whether it is going to be based on cooperative or divergent paths, is expected to affect, not only the future security supply, but also geopolitics. At this moment, the expected repercussion of this future relationship is controversial and hence the issue needs to be examined.
 

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