Signs of Increased Energy Consumption

Sorry about the non-existent posting for the past couple of weeks. I’m working on a report on the market for photovoltaics for the next five years and am approaching deadline.

In case you’re not a faithful reader of this blog, here’s a brief recap:

  • I contend that the developing world will be using more energy than is projected by the DOE’s Energy Information Agency and the IEA
  • The difference is enough to be important for policy decisions
  • We are sleepwalking into an environment where we will be making up the difference between projections and reality with coal
  • This will have negative impacts on the environment

A case in point is Brazil. The DOE’s EIA projects the developing world will increase energy consumption at a rate of 2.4% per year between now and 2030. My calculations, published here, show that a growth rate of near 5% is far more in line with reality. Their year-on-year consumption, as reported here, was 5.9%.

China, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit, saw its energy consumption increase 136% in the decade ending in 2011. If they slow down to 2.4% annually, there will be rioting in the streets. Their current electricity consumption is yo-yoing back and forth, but the lowest it has been is 3.7% in April, down from 13% in December.


2 responses to “Signs of Increased Energy Consumption

  1. “China….If they slow down to 2.4% annually, there will be rioting in the streets.”

    The percentage of Chinese electricity consumption in the residential sector is about 14% of the total…about half the US percentage.

    Source –

    China is experiencing an energy intensive massive building boom that will be impossible to sustain, urbanizing at the rate of 200 million per decade between 2000 and 2010.


    Eventually there is no one left in rural China,,but shorter term as the population of rural China declines that leaves increased economic incentive for rural dwellers not to urbanize. Fewer people on the same sized piece of land increases the amount of acreage available per farmer. Also as ‘rural china’ empties out the cost of acquiring housing in rural China will decline.

    Hence, I don’t see it as plausible that the Chinese can increase their rate of urbanization which is a substantial component of their energy consumption.

    We see early signs of a ‘leveling off’ in Chinese growth –

    Ship brokers Fearnleys said there could be at least 30 panamaxes anchored offshore China unable to offload their coal cargo because of high stockpiles at the ports.

  2. Who says they can’t consume electricity in rural China?

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