The Energy Trilemma
: Conceptual Development and Practical Implementation into Energy Policy

  • Juan Neira Castro

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    The Energy Trilemma is a new figure that establishes that energy policy is based on three pillars: energy security, sustainable development and energy equity. This thesis presents a historical and conceptual development of the figure of the trilemma and of each one of the pillars. Under the conceptual framework of the trilemma, and the concept of energy justice and a doctrinal and comparative law methodology, it analyses the energy policies of Colombia and the United Kingdom, to assess the implementation of the energy trilemma in those policies, the development of the policy cycle for energy policy and the different policies that deal for each one of the pillars, to understand how they relate and interact. The findings and conclusions of the thesis show that there is not a clear definition of either one of the concepts in the academic literature; it also shows that governments have developed energy policies without the need for definitions and that those policies are mainly developed under policy objectives and secondary legislation. The energy policies of the countries under study show that policies interact with each other and can work together towards the same aim, but the inclusion of energy justice as a key element in energy policy-making, still remains as a matter for further progress.
    Date of Award2020
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorRaphael Heffron (Supervisor), Eric Bergmann (Supervisor) & Peter Cameron (Supervisor)


    • Energy policy
    • Energy trilemma
    • Energy Transition

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