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What can be done about the security of supply challenge?

An oil tanker at harbour, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Countries whose electricity supplies rely on imported fuel can mitigate security of supply issues by importing from a diverse range of sources. That way, political or economic instability or a natural disaster in one region need not necessarily disrupt the importing country's fuel supply – depending on the cause of the disruption, they may simply be able to import from elsewhere.

Security of supply can also be achieved by reducing dependence on imported fuel. Countries with indigenous energy resources, such as recoverable deposits of fossil fuels, may be able to reduce their dependence on imports by increasing domestic production, provided this is economically attractive.

Increasing the proportion of a country's electricity supply generated by domestic renewable energy sources could reduce the proportion generated by fuels that need to be imported, reducing the level of imports required and helping to improve overall energy security.

Using energy sources with a high energy density – such as uranium used for nuclear fuel – can also help to alleviate security of supply issues, because such fuels are easier to import and stockpile than those with low energy density. In the short term, stockpiling fuel can also help to cushion a country against fluctuations in the price and availability of imports.

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