China has just locked horns with the IEA over yesterday’s announcement of the world’s top energy consumer.
We can only think of one reason Beijing would reject this label: it wants to downplay the idea that surging demand could exceeds global supply, setting up a major economic speedbump.
“IEA’s data on China’s energy use is unreliable,” Zhou Xian, an official with the National Energy Administration (NEA), said at a press conference.
According to the IEA, China consumed 2.252 billion tons of oil equivalent in 2009, 0.4 per cent more than United State’s 2.17 billion tons.
However, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said in a report in February that China’s energy consumption last year stood at 3.1 billion tons of standard coal equivalent, which was equal to 2.132 billion tons of oil equivalent.
Whatever happened in 2009, China will soar over the next decade. Can global production keep up?