Despite debt woes and growth concerns, the world’s energy consumption is growing,— and doesn’t look to be stopping anytime soon…
According to the annual British Petroleum energy report, the United States was not last year’s largest consumerof energy, as China surpassed the U.S. as reigning leader in globalenergy use.
China took the top spot by boostingenergy use by 11.2 percent to total a 20.3 percent of the global demandin 2010, just ahead of Uncle Sam’s 19 percent.
The growth from 2009 to 2010 for the U.S. was just 3.7 percent.
China consumed 2,252 million tons of theoil equivalent of energy from sources including coal, oil, nuclearpower, natural gas, and hydropower in 2010 to take the crown.
Fox Business reports:
Demand for allforms of energy grew 5.6 % in 2010, BP said, noting the rebound in theglobal economy helped drive the biggest one-year jump since theaftermath of the 1973 oil price shocks.
Consumption growth accelerated for allregions in 2010, while demand in the 34 countries included in theOrganization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED) — theU.S., UK, France, and Germany, to name a few — grew by 3.5 percent, thestrongest since 1984.
Those numbers are fairly congruent withall the OCED countries from a decade ago. But what’s eye opening is the7.5 percent demand growth in non-OCED countries, meaning the trend forhigh-energy demand in small nations is growing quickly as a whole.
Globally, energy consumption grew morerapidly than the economy; this is the second consecutive year in whichenergy intensity of economic activity rose.
This extremely large demand paired withincreased use of fossil fuels is a bad sign for carbon dioxide emissions from energy use, which also rose at their fastest rate since 1969, said BP Chief Economist Christoph Rühl:
Energy intensity — the amount of energy used for one unit of GDP — grew at the fastestrate since 1970. And so, when all the accounting is done, planet Earth — we all — consumed more energy in 2010 than ever before.
The biggest grower in energy in 2010 wasnatural gas. Global gas consumption rose 7.4 percent, the strongestvolumetric gain on record.
Oil Still on Top
Oil remains the world’s leading fuel at33.6 percent of global energy consumption, but lost market share for the 11th straight year.
China’s largest oil company, China National Offshore Oil Corporation Ltd. (NYSE: CEO), has had a strong financial year with its stock growing over $100.
The U.S. was still the world’s largestoil consumer with 21 percent of demand — double that of China’s — whileChina was the world’s largest consumer of coal at 48 percent.
Coal continued to see strong demand,thanks to much of China’s usage, while growing the fastest among allfossil fuels. Companies like Yanzhou Coal Mining Company Limited (NYSE: YZC) have seen steady growth from 2010, and will look to continue that trend as the price and demand of fossil fuels increase.
It is important to note that on top ofbeing the world’s largest consumer of energy, China also became theworld’s largest wind power generator.
2010 saw wind, solar, geothermal, andbiofuels used for power generation and transport contribute about 1.8percent of global primary energy supply…
China accounted for about 48 percent of all new wind power capacity, once again overtaking the United States.
As our fossil fuels continue to be inhigh demand, the production costs of renewable energy will continue todrop. The energy-hungry nation of China is leading the way with bothsolar and wind because of their desperate need for energy.
Earlier this week, new significant developments will limit China’s spurt of wind power generation. The Chinese agreedto end domestic wind power subsidies after the World Trade Organizationtook action on the U.S. steelworkers’ complaint of improper preferencesfor what China called “indigenous innovation”.
This is being considered a big victoryfor the U.S. in terms of the intense competitiveness of both countries’manufacturers of clean energy technology.
The recent actions still leave China’s low-cost solar production the standard for the rest of the world to try to live up to.
Energy-Hungry China Ends Wind Power Subsidies originally appeared in Green Chip Stocks. Green Chip Review is a free 2x-per-week newsletter, is the firstadvisory to focus exclusively on investments in alternative andrenewable energies.