China will undoubtedly be the most important force in global energy markets over the next two to three decades, according to the latest 2010 World Energy Outlook from the IEA.
While the nation has already experienced enormous consumption growth to date, energy usage per capita remains at just 35% of developed world levels.
This means that, even with Chinese efforts to develop its energy efficiency, future demand growth will be enormous:
The increase in non-OECD energy consumption is led by brisk growth in China, where primary demand surges by 75% in 2008-2035, a far bigger increase than in any other country or region (Figure 2.5). China accounts for 36% of the global increase in primary energy use between 2008 and 2035, with its share of total demand jumping from 17% to 22%. India is the second-largest contributor to the increase in global demand to 2035, accounting for 18% of the rise. India’s energy consumption more than doubles by that date, growing on average by 3.1% per year, a rate of growth significantly higher than in any other region.
What’s crazy is that China will become a dominant of global demand even with just a 2% growth assumption:
The momentum of economic development looks set to generate strong growth in energy demand in China throughout the Outlook period. In the New Policies Scenario, China’s primary energy demand is projected to climb by 2.1% per year between 2008 and 2035, reaching two-thirds of the level of consumption of the entire OECD (Figure 2.15). China’s total final energy consumption increases at a similar rate, expanding by 2.0% per year between 2008 and 2035.
Digging down into particular energy markets, coal and oil will be particularly impacted:
Great news for anyone helping China sate its thirst.