Energy dependence in general refers to either mankind's general dependence on primary or secondary energy for energy consumption (fuel, transport, automation, etc.). In a narrower sense, it may describe the dependence of one country on energy resources from another country.
Energy dependency shows the extent to which an economy relies upon imports in order to meet its energy needs. The indicator is calculated as net imports divided by the sum of gross inland energy consumption plus bunkers.
Energy dependence has been identified as one of several factors (Energy sources diversification, Energy suppliers diversification, Energy sources fungibility, Energy transport, Market liquidity, Energy resources, Political stability, Energy intensity, Energy dependence, GDP) negatively contributing to energy security. Generally, a higher level of energy dependence is associated with higher risk, because of the possible interference of trade regulations, international armed conflicts, terrorist attacks, etc..
A crucial contribution on the road to energy independence is energy efficiency because efficient use of energy can build on individual efforts in power saving instead of having to rely on costly large-scale infrastructure.
Energy independence, while being attempted by large or resource-rich and economically strong countries like the United States, Russia, China and the Near and Middle East, is an idealized status that at present can only be approximated through non-sustainable exploitation of a country's (non-renewable) natural resources. Another factor in reducing dependence is the addition of renewable energy sources to the energy mix. Usually, a country will rely on local and global energy renewable and non-renewable resources, a mixed-model solution that presumes various energy sources and modes of energy transfer between countries like electric power transmission, oil transport (oil and gas pipelines and tankers), etc.. The European dependence on Russian energy is a case in point.
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