Version 3.2_September 2016
Individual Paper: Can degrowth and maintaining energy supply security go hand-in-hand in Europe?
Insuring European energy security in a degrowth environment, is essential in maintaining current levels of well-being. To transition toward a sustainable economy, the current, heavy reliance upon hydrocarbon imports needs to be tuned down and substituted with domestic energy production from renewable resources—primarily solar and wind—, leading to a substantial decrease in emissions emitted, whilst eliminating the threat of energy supply disruptions. Based on historical energy transitions e.g., from coal to oil, this shift is not likely to be rapid, due to factors such as the large investment needed and the paramount interests vested in the sector.
My paper will aim to comprehensively understand why a shift to renewables can be contradictory to a degrowth environment in the short- and mid-term, whilst in the long-run it ensures the sustainability of our society. The transition is problematic due to the need for enhancing economic expansion and taping into additional resources; only in the long-run will it converge to a state of degrowth. Maintaining energy security during this period of transition is of essence, as geopolitical tensions can erupt from such drastic shifts in consumption. When fully transitioned, Europe will be in a position to eliminate the risk paired with energy security.
Ultimately, I aim to understand the energy supply security implications of a transition from current energy mixes to a renewable one in Europe. Assumptions emphasize the framework of a degrowth environment, with non-energy sectors likely having to face additional burdens to facilitate the development of a sustainable energy production model.
Start time: 11:30
Track: Degrowth 2016 conference in context