Towards Governance of Energy Security

G. Valkenburg, F. Gracceva

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

1 Citation (Scopus)


Energy transitions are complex processes, the management and governance of which are characterised by large uncertainties and ambiguities. Moreover, further complexities emerge when energy transitions are initiated in pursuit of energy security. Because of these complexities, transitions towards secure low-carbon systems qualify as unstructured problems: it is literally unclear from the problem itself what the tool of choice should be, or how the problem should be approached at all. This chapter discusses how the fundamental ambiguity of energy security is an important factor to explain the complexity of the governance of energy transition. The ambiguity of energy security is the consequence of the existence of multiple perspectives, which are at the same time irreconcilable and equally legitimate. Thus, the ambiguity remains irreducible and cannot be disambiguated by further conceptual clarity. As such ambiguity is often concealed by the use of seemingly unequivocal indicators, it remains key to attend to the underlying complexities. Also, it remains necessary to revisit respective notions of energy security and their relative priority in specific cases. Only if these intricacies are kept in mind, and if it is realised that only small steps at a time can be made, sensible calls for further research can be issued.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLow-Carbon Energy Security from a European Perspective
PublisherElsevier Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9780128029879
ISBN (Print)9780128029701
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Valkenburg, G., & Gracceva, F. (2016). Towards Governance of Energy Security. In Low-Carbon Energy Security from a European Perspective Elsevier Inc..