Wednesday, July 21, 2010

China Is Now the World’s Leading Energy Consumer


Mark Wilson:

In 2000, the US consumed twice the energy of China. But by 2009, China had become the world's leading energy consumer, according to a new International Energy Agency report.

How much energy did China burn through last year? 2,252 million tons of oil equivalent (sources include oil, nuclear power, etc)—only about 4% more than the US, who, in all fairness, still consumes the most energy per capita.

A different metric? Three years ago, China was the world's biggest exporter of coal. Now it's the leading importer. And last year, for the first time ever, Saudi Arabia sold more oil to China than the US.

Given that China's consumption will give them more negotiation power in the world's power market, it may be a good time to buck our trend of a mere 2.5% energy efficiency increase per year. [CNN via CrunchGear and image]

More on this here.



Hal (GT) said...

And the march to becoming the economic powerhouse in the world marches on.

I don't know if China will fall flat in the attempt but I doubt it.

thinking said...

Enormous changes are upon us, and I fret that many Americans just don't get it.

First, we will not enjoy nearly the magnitude of relative power and influence that we did in the post WWII era. We need to become better at engaging other cultures and value diplomacy far more and certainly abandon some of the militaristic knee jerk impulses of the past. We also need to tone down some of the simplistic nationalism of the past and realize we are not best at everything. A little more humility would help, along with a willingness to learn from other countries and cultures.

Second, what's really scary about China is that they also may take the lead in producing sources of alternative energy. Whichever country gets that right will most likely lead the world economically. China doesn't have cliimate change deniers, nor politicians in the pocket of oil companies to hold them back.

Brian Hollar said...

Thinking, are you trying to imply that China has better environmental policies than the US? Don't think Chinese politicians are not influenced by oil companies or forget they don't have the accountability to voters like American politicians do.