Energy is now a fundamental requirement for survival and quality of humane life. It is a key ingredient in all sectors of modern economies. It is because of this that energy security has become one of the most important considerations of long-term planning process. It is endeavour of every nation to focus on availability of sufficient primary and secondary energy to meet the needs of society in terms of living conditions, transportation, production of manufactured goods and services. Since energy saved is equivalent to energy produced, endeavour is also made to conserve energy resulting in emphasis on the dual concept of demand and supply side management of energy. Traditional sources of primary energy include fossil fuels including coal, oil and gas but, these being exhaustible in nature emphasis is being given to develop alternative and renewable sources of energy. There is also a greater awareness about the climate change that is taking place due to overuse of fossil fuels, traffic congestions and industrial activities, and such awareness is leading to developments in alternative direction. At the same time, demand management is also being emphasised to include effort to reduce wastage of energy, development and use of energy efficient equipment, and reuse of energy that would otherwise be wasted.
There is greater potential of nuclear energy to replace conventional energy sources, but it is also faced with high cost of production, environmental damage from uranium mining, processing and transport, and safety issues involving on-site and off-site spent fuel management. Further, the promising technology of fusion energy is still under development.
Renewable sources, which include hydro, wind power, solar energy, geothermal energy, etc., are considered to be more sustainable in long run. Globally, there is rapid increase in the quantum of production and use of renewable energy. However, these sources together make only a minor share of total energy production and use and uncertainty about the availability of energy for development and consumption remain wide open in the long run.
It is therefore, very natural that the global economies determine their geopolitical relationships with energy at the centre stage. CGDR endeavours to develop analytical framework for analysing issues linked to energy security, its availability, use and substitution with respect to following major sources: