Energy Security


Because most of the world's oil and natural gas resources are concentrated in a small number of countries, many nations have economic, social, and geopolitical concerns about energy dependence. RAND research explores options for improving energy security—e.g., the use of domestically available alternative or renewable energy sources.

Explore Energy Security

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: November-December 2016

    This issue highlights the policy issues facing the next U.S. president; the problem of food, energy, and water scarcity throughout the world; and the connection between violence against women and murder.

    Oct 17, 2016

  • A young man in drought conditions in Ethiopia


    The Hot Spots of the World

    Scarcity of food, energy, and water endangers the lives of millions. So RAND created a tool with the potential to help make aid initiatives more effective.

    Oct 13, 2016

  • Report

    Scenario Development for the 2015 Quadrennial Energy Review: Assessing Stresses, Opportunities, and Resilience in the Transmission, Storage, and Distribution Systems for Oil and Refined-Oil Products, Electricity, and Natural Gas

    RAND researchers developed a framework and metrics for examining vulnerabilities, opportunities, and risks to U.S. energy transmission, storage, and distribution systems through 2030 under a range of uncertainties.

    Sep 27, 2016

  • Tool

    Developing the Pardee RAND Food-Energy-Water Security Index: Toward a Global Standardized, Quantitative, and Transparent Resource Assessment

    To provide information to agencies and efforts focused on food, water, and energy resources, the RAND Corporation developed the Pardee RAND Food-Energy-Water Security Index. This report serves as the technical documentation for the index.

    Apr 28, 2016

  • Dissertation

    Improving Energy Security for Air Force Installations

    Develops a methodology and tool that will allow installation commanders and energy managers the ability to evaluate the cost and effectiveness of various energy investment options.

    Nov 23, 2015

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: May-June 2015

    This issue of RAND Review reports on smart-grid technologies, the nuclear deal with Iran, the education crisis among Syrian children, diversity in the biomedical scientific workforce, and recent philanthropic gifts to RAND.

    May 4, 2015

  • Power lines stretch across rural Turkey, where the World Bank has renewable energy and energy efficiency projects


    Making Informed Investment Decisions in an Uncertain World

    Changing how we make development decisions requires a cultural shift as much as it requires an analytical shift. Methodological innovations like Robust Decision Making can help. By motivating and equipping analysts to manage uncertainty, they can shape how we think about, discuss, and make decisions.

    Feb 28, 2014

  • Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House John Boehner applaud as President Barack Obama finishes his State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 28, 2014


    State of the Union 2014: President Obama Calls for a Year of Action

    Obama called for “a year of action” to achieve his 2014 agenda — from helping people sign up for health insurance, to immigration reform, to completing the mission in Afghanistan. RAND is committed to raising the level of public policy debates and offering evidence-based, actionable solutions.

    Jan 29, 2014

  • maritime training in the Gulf of Guinea


    Using Air Power Against Pirates Off West Africa

    A U.S. Official has confirmed that two mariners thought to be U.S. Citizens were kidnapped from an American ship in a pirate attack off of the West African coast — the 40th such attack reported in the Gulf of Guinea in 2013. The current security situation in the Gulf has affected petroleum and natural gas production.

    Oct 25, 2013

  • Satellite image of the United States at night


    Capabilities-Based Planning Can Enhance Energy Security at DoD Installations

    Energy security strategies are needed because DoD installations rely on the U.S. commercial electricity grid which is vulnerable to disruption from natural hazards and actor-induced outages, such as physical or cyber attacks.

    Feb 20, 2013

  • President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 12, 2013


    The State of the Union 2013

    The 2013 SOTU address will be remembered for its impassioned call for greater gun control just two months after Sandy Hook. But President Obama's second-term agenda can be characterized by its sheer breadth, reflecting the broad range of policy challenges facing the U.S. today.

    Feb 13, 2013

  • Armed Islamist fighters race near the Mauritania-Mali border


    The Motivations Behind the Amenas Terrorist Attack

    An attack of this complexity would have required months of reconnaissance, planning, recruiting of inside confederates, and training of participants. France's intervention in Mali was used to “justify” an attack that would likely have taken place anyway, writes Brian Michael Jenkins.

    Jan 29, 2013

  • a huge demonstration marched to the federal palace to protest against the draft constitution and the constitutional decree announced by President Mohamed Morsi


    The Mirage of the Arab Spring

    Like it or not, the United States counts among its allies a number of authoritarian Arab countries, and they are essential partners in protecting its interests, writes Seth G. Jones. The normative hope that liberal democracy may flourish in the future must be balanced by the need to work with governments and societies as they exist today.

    Jan 3, 2013

  • Report

    Can More Be Done to Improve Energy Security in the Gulf of Guinea?

    Improving the security of the Gulf of Guinea's oil infrastructure would increase output and promote additional investment, to the benefit of oil importing nations. The U.S. Air Force has expertise that could help build local security capabilities.

    Nov 21, 2012

  • Gas prices - 10/18/12 - Santa Monica, CA


    Two Unspoken Issues in the Presidential Energy Debate

    Both candidates glossed over two issues: the myth that independence from imported oil will reduce gasoline prices and the policies that will be needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and temper climate change, writes Keith Crane.

    Nov 6, 2012

  • A sailor mans a small craft attack team post in the Strait of Hormuz


    Will Iran Close the Strait of Hormuz?

    Just by threatening to close the Strait, Iran increases pressure on the U.S. to restrain Israel from attacking Iran. Other key players—including major oil importers such as China, Japan, and India—would be reluctant to support military action because of heavy dependence on Persian Gulf oil, writes Alireza Nader.

    Oct 2, 2012

  • Journal Article

    Sustaining Critical Social Services During Extended Regional Power Blackouts

    This article outlines and estimates the incremental cost of a strategy that uses small distributed generation, distribution automation, and smart meters to keep a set of critical social services operational during a prolonged power outage that lasts for days or weeks and extends over hundreds of kilometers.

    Jul 1, 2012

  • Blog

    U.S. Military's Role with Petroleum Is to Assure Security

    When the U.S. Department of Defense purchases oil, it has almost no effect on world oil prices, according to new RAND reports. That means reducing fuel consumption is the only effective way for the Pentagon to cut its petroleum expenses.

    Jun 19, 2012

  • News Release

    U.S. Military's Role with Petroleum Is to Assure Security

    Energy purchases made by the U.S. Department of Defense do not influence world oil prices, making cutting fuel use the only effective choice to reduce what the Pentagon spends on petroleum fuels.

    Jun 18, 2012

  • Report

    U.S. Air Force Engagement with Turkey on Energy Security Looks Promising

    Turkey aspires to become a key transit state for moving both natural gas and oil from the Caspian region and from the broader Middle East via pipelines crossing its territory. U.S.-Turkish cooperation on energy security issues offers a promising yet modest opportunity to strengthen the bilateral relationship.

    Jun 18, 2012