chapter  9
23 Pages

Using the Socioeconomic Energy Risk Index: aggregation by corridors, energy models and scenario building


Within the framework of a research programme focused on the EU’s energy secur ity, it is neces sary to examine and – as far as practicable – quantitatively estim ate the geopolit ical risk associated with energy supply. The assessment of the influence of the geopolit ical con text on energy secur ity is far from ob ject ive and is usually based on expert know ledge and with the help of qualit at ive global pol icy scen arios (see Chapter 5). To provide a more ob ject ive founda tion to geopolit ical energy risk and transcend the lim ita tions of qualit at ive methods, without resorting to sub ject ive probabil it ies, Chapter 7 reviewed the concept of risk and proposed a causal typology of energy risks (see Figure 7.2). A distinc­ tion was drawn then between pri mary energy risks – divided into socio economic and technical risks – and their effects or secondary energy risks. A coun try’s socio economic energy risk can be traced back to eco nomic, polit­ ical and social factors as well as other vari ables strictly related to energy. Chapter 7 indicated the par ticu lar difficulty in quantifying socio economic energy risks due to the lack of vari ables that may have a direct relationship with energy supply disruptions. Nonetheless, there are many indirectly related vari ables that could provide in forma tion about socio economic risk factors. It was therefore concluded that the most rigorous approach to quantifying socio economic risk would be to use a combination of these vari ables to obtain a single specific meas ure per coun try associated with each group of factors, as indicated in Figure 7.3. Another con sidera tion that guided the selection of an estimation method for socio economic energy risk was that – as far as pos sible – it should produce indic ators that provided cardinal values. Since factor ana lysis satisfied all these requirements with methodo logical rigour, it was used in Chapter 8 to estim ate the Socioeco nomic Energy Risk Index (SERI) and its components. SERI values can be applied in several use ful ways. To begin with, these values can be used as country-specific estim ates of socio economic energy risk, by themselves or together with other indic ators (see Chapters 3 and 4), in order to assess the energy secur ity of a coun try or group of coun tries. An example of this approach among many other possib il ities is de veloped in Chapter 13, where the Energy Affinity Index (EAI) scores of different coun tries towards the EU (computed in Chapter 4) are put together with the SERI values of those coun tries to obtain a two-dimensional classification of states that could be used in the

goal­ setting of the Euro pean energy pol icy. SERI values can also be used to estim ate the socio economic energy risk for entire energy cor ridors by aggregat­ ing the socio economic energy risk of the exporting and transit coun tries. Finally, both country-specific and cor ridor SERI values can be used as inputs for model­ ling exercises and in scen ario building. The first applica tion that was mentioned in the previous paragraph – the sepa­ rate con sidera tion of SERI values for different coun tries – will not be con sidered here, since there are many al tern ative uses that are only limited by the ingenuity of the energy researcher, and one of them will receive enough attention in Chapter 13. Instead, the present chapter begins examining different aggregation methods to estim ate the socio economic energy risk of cor ridors, an intu it ive energy pol icy instrument that was first presented in Chapter 2 and plays a crucial role in Chapters 14 and 15. The findings will be then applied to selected energy cor ridors towards Spain as a case study that is expected to convey how it could be applied to the EU as a whole. In the last section, several examples are pre­ sented to show how SERI values – either for coun tries or for cor ridors – could be used as inputs for modelling exercises and, after additional as sump tions are introduced, in scen ario building.