Energy issues are at the forefront of the political discourse as never before. In a world of $100-per-barrel oil, potential peak oil, and with climate change looming ever larger on the horizon, there is an obvious need for a fresh and critical look at energy politics. The idea of this book, stemming from a conference on renewables and energy security in Japan, East Asia and Norway, hosted by the Japan Program at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in 2011, has been to blend not only perspectives on renewable energy and energy security, but also those of the natural and the social sciences. Building on the conference, this book has developed into a volume on renewables and energy security in Japan, China and Northern Europe. It offers a distinctive blend of theories, methodologies and geographical cases. One of its cornerstones is the notion that energy security and renewable energy, while often treated as distinct in the general literature, are inextricably linked. Blending perspectives of the natural and the social sciences has also been important. Too long has the field of energy been dominated by a discourse of technical problem-solving. But few areas are now more political. Energy is becoming a strategic resource to an extent that we have not seen since the 1970s oil crises. There is growing concern that energy is not just another tradable commodity in a smoothly functioning and apolitical and global liberal market economy, but that in the future its abundance and ubiquity cannot be taken for granted.


Renewable Energy Wind Turbine Wind Power Energy Policy International Energy Agency 
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© Espen Moe and Paul Midford 2014

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