As the May 2010 issue of the Journal of Energy Security goes to print the Group of Experts, lead by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, will submit their report to the NATO Secretary General on NATO’s new Strategic Concept designed to guide the organization over the next decade. The issue of energy security will figure prominently in the document’s recommendations. Over the past year, not only NATO Members and Partners, but all nations, have continued to struggle with how to address their own energy requirements in a time of economic hardship and dislocation. Rigor in thinking needs to be brought to this new discipline that has seen energy eclipse itself as a narrow resource issue and push itself forward as a major security concern to energy producers, consumers and transit states alike. Individual states like Turkey will play an increasingly important role in the transit of energy resources not only from East to West but from South to North. Two contributions, one from Hasan Alsancak a Turkish energy security expert based in Ankara and another from Sohbet Karbuz who is responsible for hydrocarbons at the Paris based Mediterranean Energy Observatory (OME), focus on Turkey’s and the Caspian region’s larger energy security challenges. Much of Europe’s energy supply security is tied to the future security and stability of states across the Caucasus-Caspian region and the JES will most certainly follow and support dialogue on the region’s emerging energy security issues in the months and years to come.
From electricity blackouts in Brazil to the specter of cyber-based information warfare, Bruce Averill, former US Department of State Senior Coordinator for Critical Infrastructure Security and his colleague Eric A.M. Luiijf with the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research join CNRS Information Warfare expert Daniel Ventre, in canvassing recent developments in the global struggle to ward-off cyber-based attacks against energy systems and infrastructure. What role does information warfare play in Chinese military strategy? What should energy and power providers be aware of as the globalization of information and its transmission proceeds? Are addressing cyber-security concerns analogous to the dire situation of the unimpeded Gulf oil spill off of Louisiana where the advent of new deep-water drilling technologies have out-paced the development of strategies and technologies to prevent or mitigate disaster?
This issue of the JES also offers the second in a series of articles on the nexus of water and energy. Mike Hightower, a distinguished member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque New Mexico, focuses on the challenge of augmenting new power production while minimizing the demand for water in areas already water-stressed like in the Western and Southwestern states of the US. Finally, Victor Ojakorotu and twelve of his colleagues in South Africa provide a detailed analysis of the resurgence of violence in Nigeria’s Niger Delta. This lengthy and detailed analysis coincides with MEND’s (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) recent threats to escalate violence across the Delta which has already contributed to a fall in Nigerian oil output by one-third.