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The Changing Energy Landscape in the Atlantic Space

The Changing Energy Landscape in the Atlantic Space

In their review of the past, present and future energy systems in the Wider Atlantic, Ecologic Institute authors find that the Atlantic Space dominates all aspects of the world's energy systems, and that this will not change with foreseeable energy transformations. Some energy systems are in decline: nuclear power for economic and technological risk-related reasons and fossil energies for reasons related to economics and climate change. Growth of an emerging new energy system, based on renewable energies, is accelerating as the costs of renewable technologies fall. The publication is available for download.

While in the past, energy carriers were traded among the continents and countries around the Atlantic, future trade will be more in energy technologies and equipment.  In parallel to the shrinking economic value of traded energy, the capital value of the total energy system declines.  Energy will become cheaper and less traded. 

It is uncertain how exactly the disruptive transformation from the old fossil and nuclear energy systems to cheaper, cleaner and safer renew- able energy systems with storage and smart grids will unfold, but the overall trend is reasonably clear, and whatever the detail, the Atlantic countries are most likely to dominate the future global energy systems through technical, financial, policy and regulatory innovation. They would do well to cooperate to speed up the transition and reduce its overall cost.


Kraemer, R. Andreas; Christoph Stefes 2016: The Changing Energy Landscape in the Atlantic Space. in: Jordi Bacaria and Laia Tarragona (eds.): Atlantic Future. Shaping a New Hemisphere for the 21st century: Africa, Europe and the Americas. Barcelona: CIDOB.

16 pp.
Project ID
Table of Contents

Introduction and context
The world’s energy system is Atlantic
Fossil fuels: coal, oil and ga
Electricity is the “good” Atlantic, while …
… nuclear power is the “bad” Atlantic, but …
… on the way down and out, in the Atlantic and beyond
Promise of transformation: the Atlantic’s renewable energy
The status and trends of the Atlantic energy system
2013 vision: an Atlantic fossil energy renaissance
2015 reality check: decline of fossil energy
The Atlantic green power shift

energy, Atlantic