Prospective Analysis of Energy Security: A Practical Life-Cycle Approach Focused on Renewable Power Generation and Oriented Towards Policy-Makers

  • Citation: Diego García-Gusano, Diego Iribarren, Daniel Garraín, Prospective analysis of energy security: A practical life-cycle approach focused on renewable power generation and oriented towards policy-makers, Applied Energy, Volume 190, 2017, Pages 891-901
    • Topics:
    • Transnational Issues
    • Keywords:
    • Western Europe
    • Renewable Energy Security Index (RESI)
    • life cycle assessment
    • energy policy-making

Energy security is a wide-ranging term to encompass issues such as security of supply, reliability of infrastructures, affordability and environmental friendliness. This article develops a robust indicator – the Renewable Energy Security Index, RESI – to enrich the body of knowledge associated with the presence of renewable energy technologies within national electricity production mixes. RESI is built by combining environmental life cycle assessment and techno-economic energy systems modelling. Spain and Norway are used as illustrative case studies for the prospective analysis of power generation from an energy security standpoint. In the Spanish case, with a diversified electricity production mix and a growing presence of renewable technologies, RESI favourably “evolves” from 0.36 at present to 0.65 in 2050 in a business-as-usual scenario, reaching higher values in a highly-restricted CO2 scenario. The Norwegian case study attains RESI values similar to 1 due to the leading role of renewable electricity (mainly hydropower) regarding both satisfaction of national demand and exportation of electricity surplus. A widespread use of RESI as a quantifiable energy security index of national power generation sectors is found to be feasible and practical for both analysts and energy policy-makers, covering a significant number of energy security aspects.

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