Regular readers will remember that I predicted that China would be using 247 quads by 2030, far more than the Department of Energy’s forecast of 163 quads. Is it possible they will be using even more than my pessimistic prediction?
“Data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics show the total energy consumed in China in 2011 (including 3.48 billion tons standard coal) increasing by 7 percent year-on-year. Experts estimate that the growth rate of energy consumption in 2012 will drop below 5 percent, hitting a 10-year low since 2002. Meanwhile, coal imports have increased by 60 percent to 290 million tons in 2012.”
The U.S. DOE’s International Energy Outlook for 2011 (they canceled their 2012 edition) predicted an average annual growth rate for China’s energy consumption at 2.3% through 2035.
If China continues to increase energy consumption at 7% annually, by 2030 their consumption could reach 316 quads.
India’s growth in energy consumption has averaged 8% per year for the past decade–the DOE predicted their growth would be slower than China’s. If they continue at their present pace they will reach 237 quads by 2030.
The two countries alone will consume more energy than the entire world did in 2012.
Forget toys, Lenovo computers and iPhones from China. And forget willing call center workers and Bollywood films from India. What they will be offering the world for the next few decades consists of pollution, black soot to float up to the Arctic and growing amounts of CO2.
I don’t blame them a bit for what they’re doing. I do hope they do it fast enough so their leaders can become as conscious of environmental impacts as some in the developed world. Many of their citizens already are–some have even moved ahead of the West in environmental consciousness.
I do blame us for ignoring what’s happening. If we’re not careful we’ll hit the 3,000 quad barrier before 2075. And it will be coming (mostly) from coal.
Look, people–I understand that the fight on climate change has real reasons behind it. I feel fairly certain that some activists have wildly exaggerated what they claim climate has already done due to global warming. I have come to believe that atmospheric sensitivity is lower than some activists claim.
But really–are we going to ignore the coal that India and China will burn to generate more energy than the entire world consumed this year?