2012 International Index of Energy Security Risk

2012 International Index of Energy Security Risk

Since 1980, Mexico’s energy security ranked as the first or second most secure country in the large energy user group. It is consistently number one by virtue of its comparatively good fossil fuel imports, energy expenditure, and per capita energy use scores. Mexico’s energy security risks, however, are worsening at a faster rate than for the OECD as a whole. As a result, Mexico’s advantages are shrinking: From a 1980 score 34% better than the OECD average, Mexico’s score in 2010 was just 14% better.

The Netherlands is the least energy secure of all the developed countries in the large energy user group. From 1980 to 2010, its overall risk always was at least 20% above the OECD average, and over the period it has the highest average risk score—1,053—of any developed country in the group. The country depends on imports of oil and coal to meet domestic demand. The country also has a relatively large oil refining sector, and in 2010 it was the world’s fourth largest net exporter of refined petroleum, which moved its overall oil import risk lower than it would be otherwise.

New Zealand’s energy security risk scores have tracked the OECD average fairly closely over the past 30 years, staying within 10% on either side of the baseline. More recent trends, however, suggest that New Zealand’s energy security is worsening at a slightly faster rate than for the OECD as a whole.

In 2010, Norway was among the eight countries in the large energy user group with energy security risk below the OECD average, and having the third best score. From 1980 to the mid- to late-1990s, Norway’s overall risk increased relative to the OECD baseline. Since then, Norway’s risk has improved relative to the OECD even as it absolute risk has increased somewhat. For most of the 2000s, Norway’s risk has been at or below the OECD level. Norway scores very well in the fuel import measures compared to the OECD baseline, and it is a reliable supplier of fossil fuels to regional and global markets.

Of the three former Soviet Bloc countries, Poland has displayed the lowest energy security risk for most of the period from 1980 to 2010. In the 1990s, Poland’s risk moved higher and then lower compared to the OECD average, but by the 2000s, its risk level was largely in line with the OECD level. Recently data suggest, however, that Poland’s risk may be rising faster than the OECD’s because of factors related to energy use and expenditures.

In 1992 (the first year for which data are available), the Russian Federation’s energy security was ranked third from the bottom. Since then, its risk scores have shown no discernable trend. Over the last decade, as the average OECD risk was getting progressively worse, Russia’s relative risk declined and it was just 9% above the OECD average in 2010. In 2010, Russia was the world’s largest producer of both crude oil and gas, and the fifth largest producer of coal. Its import-related energy security risks therefore are well below the OECD average. After decades of communist rule, however, Russia’s economy remains relatively inefficient. Nevertheless, Russia’s intensity measures are all showing improvement compared to the OECD, but the country still has a long way to go before its intensity measures are comparable.

South Africa’s energy security risk consistently has been higher than the OECD average for the entire period from 1980 to 2010, ranging from 16% to 1% higher. Trends over the past few years suggest that the county’s risk is growing, both absolutely and relative to the OECD. The country’s scores for individual measures of risk exhibit many of the drawbacks one would expect to see in a large emerging economy, but it also has advantages some other emerging economies lack, such as its large deposits of coal. Like most of the emerging economies, South Africa uses energy less efficiently than the OECD average and is increasing its carbon dioxide emissions rapidly.