The energy security theories are based on the premises of sufficient and reliable supply of fossil fuels at affordable prices in centralized supply systems. Policy-makers and company chief executives develop energy security strategies based on the energy security theories and definitions that dominate in the research and policy discourse. It is therefore of utmost importance that scientists revisit these theories in line with the latest changes in the energy industry: the rapid advancement of renewables and smart grid, decentralization of energy systems, new environmental and climate challenges. The study examines the classic energy security concepts (neorealism, neoliberalism, constructivism and international political economy) and assesses if energy technology changes are taken into consideration. This is done through integrative literature review, comparative analysis, identification of ‘international relations’ and ‘energy’ research discourse with the use of big data, and case studies of Germany, China, and Russia. The paper offers suggestions for revision of energy security concepts through integration of future technology considerations.
National science and technology priority-setting has been an important and regular exercise performed by developed and many developing countries. This is very relevant for the conservative energy industry with long investment cycles. The future of energy is shaped by today's investments in research and development.
The Strategy for Science and Technology Development of the Russian Federation (2016) features seven priorities, one of which is related to “the transition to environmentally friendly and resource-saving energy industry”. The paper describes the foresight study of this energy priority that was launched to identify the focus of related future comprehensive science and technology funding programs. The design, methods and outcomes of this study that frame the future science and technology development in Russia's energy industry are discussed together with research and policy implications.