The geopolitics of renewable energy : different or similar to the geopolitics of conventional energy?
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
Québec , 2011
ISA's 52nd Annual Convention "Global Governance: Political Authority in Transition", Panel SB13: Geopolitics, Power Transitions, and Energy, Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel, Montreal, Québec (Canada), 16-19 March 2011
University of Antwerp
In this paper, the Geopolitics of Renewable Energy is compared to the Geopolitics of Conventional Energy. The international energy regime is pivotal to understanding the geopolitical relations between countries and regions in the world. As the world is taking its initial steps into a Green Energy-economy, one may ask to what extent the Geopolitics of Renewable Energy will be different or similar to the Geopolitics of Conventional Energy? Exploring and developing conventional energy (oil, natural gas, coal) demands for huge capital investments and a military machine to control. Today, in an age of increasing scarcity, producer, transit and consumer countries are positioning themselves geopolitically so as to safeguard their energy security. The Geopolitics of Renewable Energy could potentially be different; developing it will demand much capital, but there is the potential that energy will be much more decentralized, which could have a positive impact upon geopolitical relations in the world. However, one might also argue for the reverse position based upon some observations of the impact of renewable energy. Some even apply Classical Geopolitics to renewable energy; âthose who will control the new energy regime, will control the futureâ. In addition, what internal geopolitical consequences could renewable energy generate?