Whether we are discussing the future of the environment, the prosperity of the people on the planet or simply the cost of living now and in the future, energy is a very large factor. Because energy is needed for most of our activities and it is a finite resource, the value of energy, its production and the demand for it affects us all.
China has a large impact on the global energy market and today uses over 15 percent of the world’s energy. This means that understanding the fast evolving Chinese energy market is vital for visioning the future of energy supply and demand.
The purpose of this essay is to look into the modern chinese energy market, it’s impact on the global economy and the global environment and predict future trends when it comes to chinese energy production and use.
It will be split into four sections: First, an analysis into how China became such a large player in the energy market. Second, the state of the Chinese energy market today. And third, an analysis of trends for the future and the global impact of those trends.
1. How China got to where it currently is
1.1 Energy Demand
It can mainly be stated that the current energy use in China got to where it is today with rapid industrialization. The first attempts to this matter started in around 1949 when the Chinese Communist Party started an industrialization similar to the Soviet Union, building a lot of factories that needed a lot of energy, for example steel factories. From this time until late 1970s, the energy use in China more than tripled. After this “manual” kind of industrialization, the chinese economic reforms took over in the1970s and are currently still ongoing. These reforms which aimed at opening up the chinese economy, caused a huge surge in both the national GDP and in energy use, with GDP growing for example more than sixfold from 1980 to 2000.
This fast growth has caused very fast increasing demand for energy in China – not only because of...