La peligrosa fantasía de la independencia energética

La paradoja de la búsqueda actual de la independencia energética es que perseguirla, en realidad, aumenta la inseguridad energética. Por más que los políticos que instan por la independencia energética puedan preferir que las cosas fueran diferentes, el mercado eligió el petróleo como fuente de energía principal. De modo que los gobiernos no deberían ignorar ni los intereses válidos de los exportadores de petróleo, de quienes dependen los consumidores en sus países, ni la reacción de los exportadores a la retórica de la independencia energética o a las medidas tomadas para alcanzarla. Los políticos aislacionistas tal vez no se preocupen por otros países, pero deberían recapacitar si no quieren perjudicar a los propios.

Las mayores amenazas a la seguridad energética del mundo no son los ataques terroristas o los embargos de los países productores de petróleo –episodios a corto plazo que se pueden resolver de manera rápida y efectiva a través de diversas medidas, entre ellas el resguardo de las reservas petroleras estratégicas, los incrementos en la producción y la desviación de las remesas de petróleo-. La principal amenaza a la sustentabilidad a largo plazo de los suministros de energía es, más bien, el desajuste entre la inversión en capacidad adicional e infraestructura energética por un lado y el crecimiento de la demanda de energía por otro.

Los principales exportadores de petróleo podrían responder de diferentes maneras a la postura política en materia de energía, que en su mayoría exacerbarían en lugar de mejorar la situación energética global. Uno de los escenarios más factibles en respuesta a los pedidos de los gobiernos y los políticos en todo el mundo de reducir o incluso eliminar la dependencia del petróleo es una relativa merma en la inversión en capacidad de producción adicional en los países productores de petróleo.

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