LEDS in Practice: Ensure energy security

2pm, June 27th, 2016

This publication, Ensure energy security to realize the benefits of low emission development, was produced in partnership with the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) and is part of our LEDS in Practice series, which gives an overview of selected benefits and development goals linked to low emission development strategies (LEDS) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

How can low emission development improve energy security?

Energy for power, heat, cooling, and mobility is the key ingredient for development and growth. In recent years, energy security has regained interest because of ever increasing demand for energy, aspirations on providing energy access for all, worries about global scarcity of fossil fuels, and environmental concerns related to fossil fuel use.

Scaling up renewable energy as part of a low emission development strategy typically diversifies countries’ energy mixes and reduces dependence on imports. It lowers geopolitical risks and exposure to fuel price volatility, and improves the balance of trade for importing countries (noting that only a handful of countries export oil and gas). Renewable energy offers lower financial and economic risk for businesses through a more stable and predictable cost base for energy supply.

Key messages

  • Energy security is a prerequisite for development and economic growth, and is arguably the most important driver for energy policy.
  • Low emission energy systems have the potential to greatly improve energy security; at the same time policies for reducing emissions often align or overlap with energy security policies.
  • Introduction of large shares of renewable energy into a country’s energy mix requires careful planning. Low emission development strategies can set pace and timing to ensure and improve energy security.
  • Energy efficiency and conservation present a double win situation in most (if not all) situations—lower demand both makes it easier to offer secure energy supply and reduces emissions from (fossil) power generation or fuel consumption.

Download the paper here: Ensure energy security to realize the benefits of low emission development

Also in the LEDS GP series on realizing the benefits of low emission development:

Image credit: Lydur Skulason

Institutions Involved

  • Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN)


Xander van Tilburg and Natalie Harms
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