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Politics of Energy – Week 4
Global Energy Shifts and Emerging New
Energy Order
Lecturer: Assoc.Prof.Emre İşeri,
The Global Energy System
The totality of individual energy systems , which
are the interconnected network of production ,
transportation and consumption.
EU energy system in 2020-30
EU energy system in 2040-50
Global Energy Shifts
Humans & Energy
Remarks on Energy
-Outcome of endeavor to increase the
efficiency and life standards
-Relative shifts, not absolute
-Not possible to prevent energy transitions,
but “the timing” of the widespread usage
can be changed.
Modern Energy Systems
1) Coal based energy system ( late 19th cent –
early 20th cent)
2) Oil based energy system ( second half of the
20th cent - )
3) Towards a natural gas and renewable
(hydrogen in particular) based energy system
Key Conceptual for Global Energy
1) Geopolitical rivalries
2) Corporate competition
3) Social Conflict
4) The process of hegemonic crisis/sequence
5) Human Agency
1) Geopolitical rivalries
- Military strenght tied to economic health of a
given state, political leaders have often been
intervened in commercial matters, particulary with
strategic significance such as energy resources.
- The nexus of industrialization of warfare and
- Interventions by an era’s most powerful states
have always played a crucial role in successful
energy transitions.
Kaiser Wilhelm II greatly
expanded the navy, and enlarged
its mission. The key leader was
Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz (1849–
1930), who greatly expanded the
size and quality of the navy,
while adopting the sea power
theories of American strategist
Alfred Thayer Mahan. The result
was a naval arms race with
Britain as the German navy grew
to become one of the greatest
maritime forces in the world,
second only to the Royal Navy.
The size and power of battleships grew rapidly before, during, and after World
War I: a result of competitive shipbuilding among a number of naval powers,
including Britain and Germany, brought to an end by the Washington Naval Treaty
and Treaty of Versailles.(wikipedia)
‘If we overcame the
difficulties and surmounted
the risks, we should be able
to raise the whole power
and efficiency of the navy to
a definitely higher level;
better ships, better crews,
higher economies, more
intense forms of war
power—in a word, mastery
itself was the prize of the
The conversion of the British Navy under Churchill to oil from
coal meant a high risk strategy as England had abundant coal but
no then-known oil. It secured a major concession from the Shah
of Persia in the early 1900’s. The Baghdad rail link was
increasingly seen in London as a threat to precisely this oil
security. The British response to the growing German disruption
of the European balance of power after the 1890’s was to
carefully craft a series of public and secret alliances with France
and with Russia—former rivals—to encircle Germany…The
dynamic of the rise of German assertiveness, including in
addition to the Baghdad rail, the decision in 1900 to build a
modern navy over two decades that could rival England’s, set the
stage for the outbreak of a war in August 1914 whose real
significance was a colossal and tragic struggle for who would
succeed the ebbing power of the British Empire.(Engdahl,2007)
2) Corporate competition
• Innovations in the world-economy are also
propelled forward by competition among
private firms for dominance in key energy
Seven Sisters
New Seven Sisters
3) Social Conflict
4) Hegemonic Squence
‘ Periods of more profound change in
global energy systems occur when
hegemonic stability breaks down and
the pressures of warfare, economic
crisis, and social conflict can no longer
be contained’ (Podobnik, 2008,9)
Sequence &
New Order
of energy
Interaction of
Hegemonic Rise
1) Political strength, military force, and superior
national power
2) Large and growing economy. Usually,
unrivaled supremacy in at least one leading
economic or technological sector
3) A hegemon must commit to the system
4) Political control over world energy resources
Country shares of world GDP, 1820-2006
5) Human Agency