Demand side responses and energy supply (in)security

Caroline Kuzemko
Caroline Kuzemko

Caroline Kuzemko, from the University of Exeter, discusses her article ‘Politicising UK energy: what speaking energy security can do‘ published in the latest edition of Policy & Politics. The whole issue is available for free download until the end of May.

Since the start of the latest Ukraine-Russia crisis the rhetoric of energy security has re-emerged as strongly as ever. What seems most evident this time around is the degree to which energy companies are deploying the energy supply security card in order to appeal for more state and political support for new capacity. The nuclear industry, never shy about letting a good energy crisis go to waste, has been active across Europe in using fear of Russia and the energy weapon to make the case for more European nuclear energy. In the UK Cuadrilla, ably assisted by William Hague and Michael Fallon, have argued that the UK should reduce reliance on gas imports by fracking for shale gas. It is worth noting the kind of language that is used in such appeals. Cuadrilla’s statement suggests that Britain may declare a ‘state of emergency’ if the Ukraine crisis worsens and in this instance Cuadrilla will ride to our rescue by producing shale within 4 years. This is strongly worded stuff – bordering on war-like discourse – and assumes home-grown energy supply solves the crisis for the UK. Continue reading