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Royal Geographical Society (with IBG): the heart of geography
Energy security lesson one - Case study
Energy security lesson two - Data analysis
Energy security lesson three - Practical task
Energy security - follow up

'From the Field' Awards

Inspiring fieldwork supported by the RGS-IBG

In collaboration with:

The Goldsmiths' Company

Energy security: Energy futures in the EU

Key words

  • Economic geography
  • Economics
  • Oil
  • Gas
  • Fossil fuels
  • Development
  • Globalisation
  • Trade
  • Aid
  • Interdependence
  • Governance
  • EU
  • Superpowers
  • Sustainability
  • Energy futures
  • Transition



Ralitsa Hiteva, a postgraduate student at the University of Manchester, is going to be making a series of journeys to Bulgaria, Belgium and within the United Kingdom. She will be visiting 30 different cities as part of her research.


  • To explore the way that energy is used, governed and controlled in a number of EU countries
  • To look at the different ways that energy affects people’s lives

Research techniques

  • Data were collected using a number of research techniques that include semi-structured interviews with energy and policy experts
  • The use of case-studies (Bulgaria and UK’s energy sectors)
  • Desk-based document analysis which will include reports, letters, meeting minutes, articles, website contents and statistical data

Lesson one

Lesson one »

Lesson two
Lesson two »

Lesson three
Lesson three »

Follow up
Follow up »

The researcher

Raslita Hiteva

Ralitsa Hiteva is a PhD researcher at the University of Manchester. Her research project involves 18 months of fieldwork in Bulgaria, the UK and Belgium. Her research looks at the way that energy is used, governed and controlled. She is also exploring the different ways that energy affects people’s lives.


  • A comparative analysis of two distinctive approaches (Bulgaria and UK) to energy governance within the European Union
  • A better understanding of the role of regulation and the politics of scale in low-carbon transitions
  • An analysis of the interplay of processes that construct low-carbon transitions in the European Union

Key questions

  • What are the current issues for energy production and consumption in the EU?
  • What impact does the changing energy situation have on the average energy consumer?
  • Does that impact vary across the EU?
  • How will different organisations affect future energy security?

“One reason that I chose this place based context was because I speak Bulgarian...
Bulgaria is close to EU, but few people know much about it, and even less about the energy policies of the government. It is difficult to know what is happening without people going there....”

A reminder that Geography can take you places.

Ralitsa has also chosen to focus on energy as this is a policy area that will be developing for the next 20 or 30 years: within the lifespan of her career, so she should have a good chance of being employed.

Documents to download

Additional links

About the author

Alan ParkinsonAlan Parkinson worked for the Geographical Association as Secondary Curriculum Development Leader between 2008 and 2011, after teaching for over twenty years in Norfolk and Derbyshire. He developed the popular GeographyPages website in 2001, and received the Ordnance Survey Award for 'excellence in secondary geography teaching' from the RGS-IBG in 2008. He is currently a freelance author and geographer.

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