Alfred Deakin Research Institute

ADRI-TERI Symposium

Human Security, Energy Security

Peter Hayes presents a prognosis of future global conditions in terms of the organization of human populations with a focus on East Asia.

Download his presentation.

With a nod to Amulya Reddy's pioneering work in the 1970s on 'eco-development', a temporal terminology of 'Then/Now/Soon' is of relevance here.

While the mechanics of the energy system are important, the political discourse surrounding it must also be considered.

As demonstrated most recently in Japan, social and cultural conflicts over energy systems have not been as anticipated as they could have been, demonstrating the need for a consultative process. Actually, old light-water reactors (LWRs) reduced the technological diversity in the Japanese economy.

At Pacific Asia Regional Energy Security (PARES - the Nautilus Institute project), we research ways to increase supply diversification while including efficiency.

Using a layered perspective on a global scale, looking into the energy sector from outside, problems are viewed in terms of human aggregation. There are:

  • 2,684 global cities with populations of 10,000 and above
  • 18,000 cities with populations between 5 and 10,000
  • 22,000 cities with populations of 5,000 or less
  • Mega-cities are those with populations in the millions
  • Giga-cities will have populations in the billions.
  • Global and Mega cities are now being coordinated by the BESOTO group of City Mayors in East Asia
  • DESAKOTA cities integrate urban with rural populations which have urban centers and labor-intensive agricultural peripheries.
  • The lowest layer is of slums populated with those living in extreme poverty.

The introduction of new technologies changes all conditions. Smart power is the energy format of a decentralized generation, for whom working grids are imperative and renewables are crucial for intermittencies.

Potential disruptions:

  • New technological development such as nano-technology can create disruption ['PV sludge'].
  • Port cities are vulnerable to flooding from climate change, which will disrupt petroleum flow.
  • Nautilus has worked in the DPRK since the 1990s on human security and energy efficiency issues. Once more productive than South Korea, in the 1990s North Korea turned to biomass, becoming a 'black hole' in electricity use. Producing only 2gW for 22 million people it has faced famine, deforestation and erosion. With a redundant mechanical system, the Army mobilized for agricultural labour.

Potential solutions:

  • An interconnected energy grid collaboration between Japan, South Korea, Russia
  • A Siberian LNG pipeline through China to South Korea
  • Infrastructure can be supported by renewables (Gobitech - SF based, HK office)
  • Carbon sequestration, aggregation and re-flow
  • Agent-based modelling, adaptation, horizontal network strategy, new coalitions including local green groups addressing gridlocking mitigation

Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

18th December 2012