JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2020, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (11): 2613-2628.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20201105

• Energy Geopolitics and Security • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Pattern evolution of global energy security and the geopolitical game

SU Jun(), WANG Yong-xun, WANG Qiang()   

  1. School of Geographical Science, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350007, China
  • Received:2020-01-20 Revised:2020-05-13 Online:2020-11-28 Published:2021-01-28
  • Contact: Qiang WANG;


Under the background of economic globalization, the internationalization of national energy security issues has become increasingly prominent. Since the beginning of the 21st century, along with the acceleration of world multi-polarization, the study on the evolution characteristics of global energy security's pattern and its driving mechanism has become one of the key issues in the field of energy geopolitics. Based on this understanding, this paper systematically evaluates the energy security status of 124 countries since 2000, reveals the evolution characteristics and its mechanism, and identifies the major geopolitical threats. The results show that: (1) Since the beginning of the 21st century, the evolution of the global energy security pattern has been continuously optimized, but it has shown obvious phase characteristics. Since 2010, the optimization trend has become more significant. (2) The global energy security pattern is basically consistent with the international order, that is, energy-safe countries are concentrated in economically developed regions of Western Europe and North America, and the relatively safe countries are mainly distributed in Central Europe, Latin America, and high-income regions in Asia. The countries with transitional energy system are mainly distributed in the developing regions of Middle East, Southeast Europe, and East Asia, while countries with dangerous or relatively dangerous energy system are economically underdeveloped regions in Africa and South Asia. (3) In the past 20 years, the world's energy security level has improved significantly, which is mainly driven by climate-friendly green technologies and the continuous downturn in oil price. For this reason, the level of energy security in developed economies has increased significantly. However, due to the low innovation capacity, backward productivity, and low disposable income of residents, developing countries have less room for improvement in energy security. (4) In the context of the rise of populism, the intensification of trade barriers and the strategic contraction of the United States in the Middle East, the global energy security pattern in the future will be affected by the changes in China-US relation, the increasing urgency to promoting the energy transition, and the polarized political climate.

Key words: energy security, pattern evolution, geopolitical game, global scale