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China Is Now Consuming More Energy Per Capita Than Europe

China is now consuming more energy on a per-capita basis than Europe, the Energy Institute reported in its Statistical Review of World Energy.

The rearrangement in the energy use ranking was driven by greater demand from the industrial sector of the economy. At the same time, demand for energy from industrial producers in Europe declines due to high prices.

While energy consumption went up, its carbon intensity declined, the Energy Institute pointed out in its report. China is the leader in new coal power plant construction, the authors noted but it is also the leader in wind and solar capacity additions. Last year, these additions exceeded the total new wind and solar capacity that the rest of the world added, leading to a downward trend in carbon intensity.

At the same time, China also produced more than half of the world’s total coal output last year. Together with India, Indonesia, and Australia, the country was responsible for 97% of global coal output last year. It also remained the largest consumer of the energy commodity, at 56% of the total. However, India is catching up and last year its consumption exceeded the combined consumption of coal in Europe and North America, the report also revealed.

China has announced plans to reach a peak in its carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and become a net-zero economy by 2060. The massive increase in wind and solar is part of that plan although China remains an all-of-the-above energy consumer, building coal and nuclear as well.

According to a recent IEA report, last year China commissioned an amount of new solar equal to the global total in 2022 and its new wind power additions increased by 66% on the year. Chinese investments in transition technology represented a third of the global total for the year.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on June 20 2024 said:
    This is inevitable with China's economy growing in 2024 at 5.0% while the EU's economy stagnating at 0.5% with Germany, Europe's biggest economy growing this year at 0.2%.

    While industrial manufacturing in China is expanding, the EU's is declining with many major European companies relocating to the United States seeking cheaper energy prices.

    Moreover, China is now leading the world in wind and solar capacity additions. In 2023 these additions exceeded the total new wind and solar capacity that the rest of the world added, leading to a downward trend in carbon intensity. China has announced plans to reach a peak in its carbon dioxide emissions before 2030.

    In a nutshell, there is no field in which China isn't either leading the world or leapfrogging the United States and the EU particularly energy.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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