Investors spooked by three years of global recession have nervously scanned the globe for failsafe, sure-fire places to park their surplus capital.
The rise of the non-Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries is fundamentally altering the world's energy markets, which underwent a historic shift in 2007 when non-OECD demand surpassed that of OECD. Demand growth outside traditional OECD markets is now the driver in the world's energy, with fossil fuels continuing to account for 88 percent of global energy demand and for over half of the annual increase in total energy demand. Another historic shift occurred last year, when China became the largest consumer of energy after surpassing the U.S.
By 2035 China will consume almost 25 percent of world energy after just 9 percent in 2000. The Energy Information Administration trend predictions in future consumption patterns still put liquid fuels at the top for the next twenty-five years but coal is still to grow strongly to almost catch up over this period. Accordingly, China will provide the largest share of future growth in the global energy market, and it is here that Australian energy fortunes will be made.
China is now Australia's largest trading partner, with bilateral trade topping $100 billion last year.
Coal is the second most important energy source making up almost 30 percent of global energy consumption. For Australia coal is a "dual use" product, as it meets 43 percent of…