As climate change and natural resource depletion become more prevalent, so does energy security. Many countries began 2019 by announcing plans to improve their energy security standings in both traditional and innovative ways. Some of the announcements were expected. Others, perhaps, were more of a surprise. Let’s take a look at some of the countries focusing on energy security in 2019.
Jamaica reinforced its commitment to bolster the nation’s energy security standings in early 2019 by reclaiming ownership of its 49 percent of shares in Petrojam — a Venezuelan owned oil and natural gas company. The country also announced its decision to convert to liquefied natural gas this year. Both decisions come as the result of turmoil in the Venezuelan government and a steep increase in operational risk.
Jamaican officials were careful in the explanation of their decisions, stating that they seek only to ensure their own energy security while still remaining appreciative of third party sources. While the country originally sought to buy back the shares using a program rich with incentives for Venezuela, but the offer was rejected. As a result, Jamaica will begin to reclaim their shares via Parliament.
The United States has seen measurable success in their attempts to improve their energy security standings thanks in large part to the shale oil boom and a significant discovery in the Permian Oil Basin.
In an effort to further improve energy security, the U.S. has also recently announced plans for a Battery Recycling Resource & Development Center. The Center aims to decrease U.S. dependence on imported critical resources like lithium and cobalt, many of which are produced in locations with several high risk factors. The purpose of the Resource & Development Center will be to improve recycling efforts for these critical resources from five percent to 90 percent, thereby significantly reducing dependence on imports.
Russia, which has seen its fair share of conflict over the last year, is working hard to improve energy security in Serbia. The country, which is a large investor in Serbian energy, announced plans to assist in the improvement of Serbia’s gas transportation systems and nearly double the capacity of the Banatski Dvor underground storage facility.
The joint effort between Russia and Serbia will also work to improve plans for the peaceful use of nuclear energy, which is expected to significantly impact Serbia’s energy security. The intergovernmental agreement also resulted in partnerships between several universities in hopes of progress in both science and culture.