Course introduction

A growing interest in energy policy and energy security studies in the social sciences (political science, international relations, regional studies, law) has been evident. The present introductory course proposes a general methodology for energy security studies. It will also include an overview of main specialized websites.

This is an introductory course to the energy policy courses, which aims at introducing basic concepts of energy security. The course is recommended for students of various social science disciplines who might write research papers on the issue of energy security. For example, the module would address the students specialized in European studies and willing to produce a MA thesis on the European energy security; students of Russian studies and conducting related studies; students of economic sciences willing to specialize in energy policy in the future. The online course does not replace a detailed specialization in energy policy, law or economics however, it can be used as a supplementary material by these students.

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Is preliminary knowledge needed?

The module does not require a specific knowledge on energy policy or economics. General understanding of institutional economics is required. A student needs to understand general economic concepts, like GDP, economic growth, investment risks, transaction costs and discount rates.

Study outcomes

General understanding of energy policy concepts, ability to conduct a qualitative analysis of energy security risks, critical analysis of data and information on the issue.

Course materials

The course contains 6 learning modules, equivalent to 1 ECTS. This first introductory part aims at explaining the objective of the course and demonstrates main literature material existing online and offline on the issue. The thematic modules will address the following topics: overview of international energy markets, political approaches to energy security: mitigating dependencies , evolving gas markets and energy security: mitigating market risks, electricity markets and energy security: investing in interconnections, International Energy Governance: Energy Charter Treaty, energy investment and project finance. The course terminates by concluding remarks with a general overview of the before-mentioned material.


Self-tests are organized after each thematic module. Each test is graded by “pass or fail” system which is a good way to test your knowledge step by step. The course has a total of six self-tests.

1. Overview of international energy markets Self-test 1
2. Political approaches to energy security: mitigating dependencies Self-test 2
3. Evolving gas markets and energy security: mitigating market risks Self-test 3
4. Electricity markets and energy security: investing in interconnections Self-test 4
5. International energy governance: energy charter treaty Self-test 5
6. Energy investment and project finance Self-test 6

Main literature sources

Energy Charter Secretariat, Oil and Gas Pricing Mechanisms: putting a right price on energy, available at
International Energy Agency (IEA) , where country reports, market analysis and general statistics are regularly published, as well as IEA’s annual world energy outlook.
The latest outlook is posted at: 
Then, a major collection of relevant studies is published within Polinares project conducted within the FP 7 programme of the European Commission.
Oil, Gas, Energy Law Intelligence (OGEL) is one of the main electronic journals in the field of energy policy and law,
Journal of World Energy Law and Business as well as Energy Policy are the leading peer-reviewed offline journals. Both contain necessary search engines for archived articles.


The responsible lecturer of the course is  Professor Andrei V. Belyi who is Senior Researcher at the Institute of Government and Politics at University of Tartu and Affiliated Scholar at the Centre for EU-Russia Studies (CEURUS).

He is responsible, inter alia, for the Jean Monnet teaching module on energy and environment in the European College at University of Tartu. He is also a visiting honorary lecturer at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum, Mineral Law and Policy at the University of Dundee (UK) and has previously worked at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow (Russia). Andrei graduated in international relations (international law) at Free University of Brussels (ULB), where he also defended his PhD on the energy security dimension in EU-Russia relations. His research focuses mainly on the EU’s external energy policy, EU-Russia energy relations, Russia’s energy policy dynamics and international energy governance, including the Energy Charter process.


Energy policy experts

Andres Mäe, Independent analyst of energy policy, University of Tartu


Anna Bulakh, Junior Research Fellow, Internatinal Centre for Defence Studies


Sergei Jefimov, Chairman of the Board Executive Director, Eesti Gaas Võrguteenus


Ingrid Arus, Head of Electricity Markets Department, Elering


Prof Andrey Konoplynik


Matthew Winslow
, Project finance consultant and founder of the Scylax LLC