Geopolitics of the Renewable Energy Game and Its Potential Impact upon Global Power Relations

Part of the Lecture Notes in Energy book series (LNEN, volume 61)


As the world is taking its initial steps into a Green Energy-economy, to what extent will the ‘Geopolitics of Renewable Energy’ be different or similar to the ‘Geopolitics of Conventional Energy’? Exploring and developing conventional energy (oil, natural gas, coal) demands for huge capital investments and a military machine to control. Today, in an age of increasing scarcity, producer, transit and consumer countries are positioning themselves geopolitically so as to safeguard their energy security. The ‘Geopolitics of Renewable Energy’ could potentially be different; developing it will demand much capital, but there is the potential that energy will be much more decentralized, which could have a positive impact upon geopolitical relations in the world, but there are also drawbacks. This book chapter explores the Geopolitics of the Renewable Energy Game and its potential impact upon global power relations. First, we lay out some internal and external geopolitical consequences of the energy transition. Second, we explain that this transition in fact entails an “energy technology-revolution”. Third, we look at the global control over patents and knowledge, investigate the potential of renewable energy sources and their geopolitical consequences. Special attention is given to lithium and the electric car. Last, we formulate some conclusions.


Geopolitics Energy transition Patents Renewable energy Power 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium
  2. 2.University College RooseveltMiddelburgThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Geneva Institute of Geopolitical StudiesGenevaSwitzerland

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