Politicians around the world are in vigorous agreement on the critical importance of "energy security." And yet useful definitions of the term are scarce, as is the recognition that "energy security" means different things to different people. Americans focus most on the risks of imported oil, Europeans on their dependence on Russian natural gas. Less commonly considered in the industrialized world is what energy security means to emerging powers like China and India, desperately poor countries in Africa and South Asia, or even major energy exporters like Russia or states in the Persian Gulf. By making explicit these many "faces" of energy security, we can begin a more useful debate on how to make the global energy economy more robust for all players. This talk will suggest some frameworks for thinking about energy security from both consumer and producer sides, and then explore specific cases in developing and transition economies -- in particular, the perspectives of China as a major importer of oil and Russia as a major exporter of natural gas.
Mark Thurber is Research Program Manager at PESD, where he oversees all aspects of the Program's research and is also directly responsible for research on low-income energy services. Before coming to PESD, Dr. Thurber worked in high-tech industry, focusing on volume manufacturing operations in Mexico, China, and Malaysia. This work included a multi-year assignment in Guadalajara developing local technological capability in precision manufacturing measurements. Dr. Thurber holds a PhD from Stanford University in Mechanical Engineering (Thermosciences) and a BSE from Princeton University in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering with a certificate from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. His academic research has included engineering studies of gas-phase laser diagnostics as well as policy analyses of technology management in the developing world and power plant emissions reductions strategies in the United States.