What happens next in the global energy market depends to a disturbing degree on China. Disturbing not because the Chinese have done anything wrong – they haven’t. The country’s energy policy has been rational and largely predictable. But the situation is changing. The problem is that Beijing has become such a substantial force in the market that their actions or otherwise can send waves, often intentionally, through every part of the system. At the same time the predictability of the outcomes has eroded. The uncertainties over their future energy strategy, which I described in last week’s post, make them a very disruptive force in a market already struggling to keep up with multiple changes. Remember the facts. Over the past three decades, China has brought more than 500m people out of subsistence poverty. Those people are now consumers of commercial energy supplies. The number of cars has risen by 19 per cent a year over the past decade. From being largely economically self reliant, Beijing is now a major importer and exporter of all categories of goods and services. Fifty-seven per cent of Chinese citizens now live in cities. Energy demand is now almost four times higher than it was 40 years ago and accounts for a quarter of all global consumption. That rise has largely been fuelled by coal and, more recently, imported oil. But as the Chinese economy matures and rebalances, the energy mix will change. The problem is that we cannot yet know how or when that change will come.
FT 27th Nov 2017 read more »
When it comes to solar power the Chinese have their own way of doing it, including designing a solar farm in the shape of a Giant Panda. Millions have been invested in the last few years in these projects, across China. Watch this video to discover just how large and decorative many of them are.
Energy Voice 27th Nov 2017 read more »