Developments in international economic, industrial, political and military affairs largely depend on the access states and other political communities have to energy supplies. Such wide-scale dependency increases the acuteness of competition between international actors for the remaining fossil fuel resources.
This competition has led to the massive rise in the price of petroleum for states and by extension, consumers. Together, competition and price rises has already begun to strain the economies of petroleum-dependent countries and promises that strains will continue to be felt.
Energy dependency is essentially due to the acceptance that economies of scale require the use of non-renewable energy supplies such as: petroleum, natural gas and even coal; those resources that are limited in quantity. Such dependency is not necessarily inevitable then, as the multitude of alternative resources such as, hydroelectric, has the potential to power even the most industrial society. However, it seems that the costs of transforming a nonrenewable resource based economy are great, and states are reluctant to make the proper long-term investments while the relatively cheap and accessible non-renewable resources are readily available. This is short sighted and such policies are responsible for increasing international tensions as states compete for the diminishing non-renewable energy supplies.
The EU too, despite its identification of energy security and potential energy diversification as a prime driving force in its foreign affairs, fits into the above competition. I would like to spend the remainder of this commentary discussing energy security in the EU.