The Importance of Energy Security Study


Note:

This paper was written to fulfill the requirement  of application to postgraduate program at Indonesia Defense University

The term energy security has yet to come to a clearly defined concept, thus it has been pivotal in policy making since early 1970s. In general, energy security is defined as the availability of energy supplies to meet its demand in any given time, in efficient manner. Energy security can be divided into two categories, long term energy security and short term energy security. Long term energy security is the idea of avoiding the risk of the availability of cheap and efficient energy, considering its future needs. Short time energy security is how energy availability is able to fulfill its immediate demand.

The importance of energy security study is driven from the idea that energy plays a critical role in shaping economic development, ensuring national security, and keeping social stability, as well as politic. In fact, energy has become a political instrument, not only in national politics but also in the international political stage. Energy holds significant position in determining the existence of a nation, because it is the backbone to its economics and its security sectors. A country needs to ensure its energy security in order to run business and economics, furthermore to attract investors to invest in its domestic market. Energy is necessary not only to run factories, but also to distribute its final goods, as well as it is vital to a country defense system in the term of energy as fuel for defense apparatuses.

At glance, the vulnerability of energy supply-chains, limitation of its resources and its uneven distribution are the biggest threats for current energy security globally. Up until this very moment, countries rely heavily on non-renewable energy resources such as petroleum, coal, and natural gas. On the other hand, the continuity of using this kind of energy brings some negative impacts, such as various environmental degradation and it has been proven scientifically that carbon emission from petroleum and coal was the major cause of global warming. Countries share problem and urgency not only to find more secure and stable energy trajectory, but also to keep it cheap and environmental friendly. Indonesia is no exception.

As a developing country, Indonesia should find a way to ensure the availability of its energy supply, as well as others, for the sake of its development’s sustainability and national security. Our future energy policy should cover not only the guarantee for long term availability, but also the effect of energy use to the environment, which is strongly related to Indonesia’s commitment to cut its carbon emission as much as 26% by 2020. In order to achieve this goal, government is suggested not to rely on forestry sector alone, but should also look into the energy sector.

Although Indonesia is abundant with renewable energy resources which are cheaper and more environmental friendly than non-renewable one, up until this very moment our major energy supply comes from non-renewable resources. If we are able to reduce our dependency on non-renewable energy and switch to renewable energy, it will in turn contribute significantly to emission reduction target, and secure our energy availability.

About Dyra Gustin

Free spirited, adventurer, child at heart
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