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The Geopolitics of Renewable Energy

Chatham House, London

Event Documents

Participants

Dr David Criekemans, Assistant Professor in International Politics, University of Antwerp

Walt Patterson, Associate Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources Department, Chatham House

Chair: Samuela Bassi, Statkraft Policy Fellow, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change

Overview

Over the past few decades, the geopolitics of energy has been synonymous with the geopolitics of oil and gas. However, as the global energy matrix changes and renewable energy usage continues to grow, what are the dynamics through which renewables could shape geopolitics?

Our experts ask to what extent the geopolitics of renewable energy will differ to the geopolitics of conventional energy. Are countries already positioning themselves so as to safeguard their low carbon energy security? Is there a potential that energy will be much more decentralized or will dominant nations emerge in the same way as they did in the hydrocarbon sector? If so, which countries are best placed to become the ‘Saudi Arabia of renewable energy’ and what impact would this have on global energy geopolitics?