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Opening the black box of energy security: A study of conceptions of electricity security in the United Kingdom

Cox, Emily ORCID: 2016. Opening the black box of energy security: A study of conceptions of electricity security in the United Kingdom. Energy Research and Social Science 21 , pp. 1-11. 10.1016/j.erss.2016.06.020

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Despite much literature on energy security, the term continues to resist a commonly-accepted definition. Nevertheless, policy decisions are frequently made on the basis of ‘improving energy security’, despite the lack of any clear understanding of what improving energy security actually means. Therefore this paper explores the meaning of energy security for key experts in the UK energy sector, with a particular focus on the security of electricity systems in the context of a low-carbon transition. A set of 22 energy security issues is discussed with 25 experts from across the energy sector in the UK, in order to get a grasp on which aspects of energy security are felt to be most important, and to discover the underlying concepts which are used by experts when making or justifying these choices. The results from the interviews show that there is a real need to attempt to take into account multiple competing and context-specific views on energy security, instead of trying to close the discussion down around a small number of simple quantifiable indicators or metrics. The results also show that there is no clearly discernible alignment between experts’ perspectives and the type of organisation for which they work.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Energy security Perceptions, Low-carbon transition, Electricity
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2214-6296
Date of Acceptance: 21 June 2016
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2022 09:54

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