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China last year became the world's largest user of power, surpassing the U.S. The title came largely thanks to gains in U.S. energy efficiency.  (Source: Science Blogs)

China is expected to pass Japan this year to become the world's top coal importer. Only three years ago it was a net exporter.  (Source: CleanTechnica)

Aside from GHG emissions, China's high emissions of Nox and sulfuric compounds has given rise to noxious smog clouds, which now frequently blanket China, depending on weather conditions.  (Source: Telegraph UK)
Nation of over 1.3 billion people thirsts for power as it grows larger and more industrialized

Back in June 2007 China earned the dubious distinction of surpassing the U.S. to become the world's top emitter of greenhouse gases.  Now approximately three years later, the highly populated country has become the world's largest consumer of energy.

The news that China may now be the world biggest energy customer comes based on analysis by the International Energy Agency (IEA).  According to the IEA, China overtook the U.S. in energy consumption sometime last year.

Despite having over 1.3 billion people, versus about 307 million in the U.S., China's new title may be primarily driven by the inefficient way it uses energy.  While the U.S. has improved its energy efficiency by 2.5 percent per year from 2000 to 2010, China only improved 1.7 percent.

While the U.S. still trails Europe in energy efficiency, it is consuming much less power as time goes on.  States Fatih Birol, the IEA's chief economist, "In the 2000, the US consumed twice as much energy as China, now China consumes more than the U.S. On the one hand, the U.S. has come to a certain saturation of energy use, but there have also been lots of efforts, especially since 2005, to use energy more efficiently."

As Birol indicates, the Chinese victory came as somewhat of a surprise, as it was widely expected to take a couple more years for the Chinese to surpass the U.S. in energy consumption.  But the the numbers conclusively show that last year China used 4 percent more power than the U.S. -- 2,252 million tons of oil equivalent of energy from sources including coal, oil, nuclear power, natural gas and hydropower.

The IEA states that China, as the world's top dog in energy consumption, will be able to dictate international energy policy to an extent.  States Birol, "There will be a big multiplier effect."

The U.S. in recent years has been concerned with China's energy hunger.  Disdainful of China's proposed "voluntary" emissions targets, the U.S. has also shown concern about China's aggressive pursuit of Kazakhstan oil.

Three years ago China was a net exporter of coal.  This year it is expected to import 105-115 million tonnes of coal, to surpass Japan as the world's largest coal importer.  China is also now Saudi Arabia's largest oil customer -- a position held for decades by the U.S.  Money speaks and that position will likely have a profound effect on international business and relations in the Middle East.

Nobuo Tanaka, the IEA's secretary-general, has been trying to convince China to join the IEA since March.  The organization, which represents the largest energy consumers in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) helps push for alternative energy and greater energy efficiency.

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RE: China is smart
By knutjb on 7/21/2010 10:04:43 PM , Rating: 2

By lowering taxes for all. This is a very inconvenient graph from government numbers. When taxes are high, particularly for the wealthy, they hide it because they feel the government has gone too far. Then who gets stuck, the poor and middle class because politicians don't see the revenues go up with the tax on the wealthy so they create new taxes that hit all.

Many businesses start working in cash, paying under the table, not make as many or large bank deposits, etc to try and survive outrageous taxes.

Companies move to states to those with lower taxes, like who left California. Money gets moved off shore and so on.

When the left say stick it to the wealthy they really are sticking it to the middle and poor. Lower taxes on the wealthy and they pay far more in actual revenues.

Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge understood this in 1921 and slashed the Federal Gov by 50% and slashed taxes creating the largest peace time economic boom the country has ever seen. Hoover and FDR did the opposite and we floundered economically from 1930 to WWII. At which point Truman did something similar to Harding and Coolidge and created the post war boom. FDR had no positive impact on the post war boom, he did have a negative impact because of all the debt he created. Obama is following FDR's model not Harding, Coolidge or Truman.

Wouldn't want history, and normal American Capitalistic behavior to get in the way. BTW Capitalism does not = greed, greed exists in all parts of society and government types oppressing and preventing those at the bottom from rising.

To sum it up using historically proven methods, low taxes and slash all Government spending, will turn things around. Do the opposite, well it has shown it doesn't work, US Depression, Japan's lost decade...

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

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