Energy autonomy

economic-dictionary

Energy autonomy is the ability of a country to meet its energy needs, without depending on other countries.

It allows you to satisfy your own energy needs, without buying it. This, given that not all countries have enough oil, gas or dams to produce enough energy and that is why they need to import it (buy from other countries).

For example, Spain that barely produces oil and must import it from other countries. If this were not the case, it would not be able to produce fuel for the means of transport or for the machinery that needs it.

With this in mind, energy autonomy is possessed by those countries that do not need to import energy resources to obtain energy. Of course, it is rare for a country to be self-sufficient in all types of energy. It may have a lot of oil, but no gas. So, we will say that it has autonomy in terms of oil, but not in terms of gas.

Importance of energy autonomy

With the depletion of non-renewable resources, they not only become more expensive, it also implies a risk factor for the stability of economies, since they all require energy to carry out their production processes and satisfy their needs.

Governments and international organizations seek to achieve energy autonomy. And the key to doing so, in addition to saving energy, is the use of renewable energy, which implies significant challenges.

Advantages of energy autonomy

The scope of energy autonomy occurs in the medium and long term. Its advantages are listed below.

  • Avoid dependence on external sources of supply and therefore also avoid price volatility.
  • Dispense with the cost of transporting hydrocarbons.
  • Avoid oil spill accidents in the world's oceans that have had devastating effects on flora and fauna.
  • Reduce the pollution that is generated (if energy autonomy is achieved with renewable or low-polluting resources), both in the production process and in its use. In other words, it would avoid compromising the well-being of future generations.

Disadvantages of energy autonomy

On the other hand, among the disadvantages could be:

  • The use of a type of renewable energy, in this case, geothermal requires bringing salts and minerals to the surface with a harmful degree of toxicity.
  • The planet's resources are geographically irregular, so countries have more or less renewable resources. Therefore, some are at an advantage over others, which further complicates for some the existence of energy autonomy in the short term.
  • In the case of large solar panel installations, they require a large occupied surface, if it is installed directly on the ground.

Necessary conditions for energy autonomy

For there to be energy autonomy, a joint effort is required between:

  • The government, encouraging and supporting investment projects in renewable energy.
  • Companies, for their part to promote projects of this type.
  • Households, so that they prefer products and services that have used renewable energy in their preparation.

In order to know the configuration of a strategy that leads to achieving energy autonomy and how the minimum necessary actions should be combined, some conditions are listed below.

  • Renewable resources available and sufficient to satisfy the needs of a country, a population or a community.
  • Investment in the necessary infrastructure.
  • Ease of energy storage and distribution.
  • Flexibility in power generation, so you have the ability to adapt to changes in market needs.
  • Laws according to energy autonomy. To allow accessibility without compromising reliability or continuity of supply. This would be achieved with regulatory policies in the generation, pricing and distribution of energy.
  • Communicate and raise awareness about the benefits of energy from renewable sources.
  • Ensure that the energy supply is not interrupted by weather changes.

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