Supply chains and energy security in a low carbon transition

Hoggett, Richard, Bolton, Ronan, Candelise, Chiara, Kern, Florian, Mitchell, Catherine and Yan, Jinyue (2014) Supply chains and energy security in a low carbon transition. Applied Energy, 123. pp. 292-295. ISSN 0306-2619

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Abstract

This special edition to be published in Applied Energy brings together a range of papers that explore the complex, multi-dimensional and inter-related issues associated with the supply or value chains that make up energy systems and how a focus on them can bring new insights for energy security in a low carbon transition.

Dealing with the trilemma of maintaining energy security, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and maintaining affordability for economies and end users are key issues for all countries, but there are synergies and trade-offs in simultaneously dealing with these different objectives. Currently, industrialised energy systems are dominated by supply chains based on fossil fuels and these, for the most part, have been effective in enabling energy security and affordability. However, they are increasingly struggling to do this, particularly in respect to efforts to tackle climate change, given that the energy sector is responsible for around two-thirds of the global greenhouse gas emissions [1]. A key challenge is therefore how to decarbonise energy systems, whilst also ensuring energy security and affordability. This special issue, through a focus on supply chains, particularly considers the interactions and relationships between energy security and decarbonisation.

Energy security is a property of energy systems and their ability to withstand short-term shocks and longer-term stresses depends on other important system properties including resilience, robustness, flexibility and stability [2]. Energy systems are essentially a supply chain comprising of multiple and interrelated sub-chains based around different fuels, technologies, infrastructures, and actors, operating at different scales and locations – from extraction/imports and conversion through to end use [3]. These supply chains have become increasingly globalised and are influenced by the on-going shifts in global supply and demand. Thus the aim of this special issue is to explore and discuss how to enable the development of a secure and sustainable energy system through a better understanding of both existing and emerging low carbon energy supply chains as well as of new approaches to the design and management of energy systems. In part, because moving from a system dominated by fossil fuels to one based on low carbon creates a new set of risks and uncertainties for energy security as well as new opportunities.

A large number of submissions from over 18 countries were received for this special edition and 16 papers were accepted after peer review. These address a variety of issues and we have chosen to discuss the findings under two key themes, although many of the papers cut across these: (1) Insights from, and for, supply chain analysis. (2) Insights for energy security and its management. We then provide in (3) a summary of insights and research gaps. Table 1 provides a snapshot of the areas covered by the papers showing: theme (s); empirical domains; and geographical coverage.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Depositing User: Florian Kern
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2014 09:59
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 18:07
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/48298

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