Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Innovative approach to tackling energy security issues

Citizens and governments are becoming increasingly concerned about energy security for a number of reasons including rising energy demand, resource depletion and various limitations on energy systems. An EU initiative has successfully addressed energy services security (ESS) using a novel approach.
Innovative approach to tackling energy security issues
Conventional approaches to energy security are narrow, focus on the security of supply and on the roles played by governments, suppliers and technology. Perspectives are needed that concentrate on the benefits provided to society by energy and on the contribution of demand to ESS.

With this in mind, the EU-funded STESS (STESS: Socio-technical and multilevel perspectives on energy services security) project sought to broaden the scope of ESS studies through examination, analysis and development of strategic responses to threats.

To achieve its aims, STESS conducted a multi-level analysis. Project partners investigated the institutional structure of energy security and ESS in the United Kingdom and Israel. They examined energy security and ESS from the point of view of consumers, as well as from actors that are directly and indirectly part of the energy system apart from suppliers, government or consumers.

The series of analyses led to the establishment and development of a demand-side perspective to studying ESS which highlights the shortcomings of traditional supply-oriented approaches and the contribution of socio-technical and user-oriented perspectives. Findings show that the United Kingdom and Israel's top-down approaches to energy security vary greatly, and stress the role of various local and national organisations in disseminating knowledge and scaling up local low-carbon actions. Other outcomes underscore the demand side potential contribution to ESS and how actively participating in prosumer-oriented energy markets is influenced by such factors as socio-demographic variables, trust, technology attitudes and personal values.

Researchers proposed a market concept that contributes to ESS, climate mitigation, energy savings and efficiency. It also engages consumers with the energy system.

The project’s decentralised electricity system should lay the foundation for a low-carbon, resilient and secure system. STESS envisions a system where consumers do not simply consume but also provide valuable services to the electricity grid.

Related information

Keywords

Energy security, energy services security, energy system, STESS
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