China's Energy Security

New Economic Giant

  • Its economy has doubled in size in 8 years
  • In 2001, China accounted for 10% of global energy demand. By 2007 this had grown to over 15%
  • China controls 3% of the world's oil reserves, it was self-sufficent until 1993
  • Rural-to-urban migration in China is at an all time high - over 8.5 million annually
  • They are now encouraging people to use bikes instead of cars in cities
  • Car ownership is expected to jump from 16 cars per 1000 to 267 cars per 1000 people by 2030
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Where does China's energy come from?


  • It is the worlds biggest producer and consumer of coal, it relies on coal for 70% of its electricity generation
  • This huge demand means on average, China build three new coal-fired power stations a week, in 2006, China added 102 gigawatts of generating capacity to its grid - as much as the capacity of the whole of France
  • Coal is cheap but dirty and produces high amounts of CO2, China are investing in "cleaner" coal power stations


  • Accounts for 15% of Chinas energy production
  • The Three Gorges dam is now complete and generates over 25 gigawatts but this came at a price. The Yangtze River's biodiversity is being destroyed by flooding and earthquakes, saline counts are decreaseing in some areas and falling in others, algae blooms are removing oxygen from the river, 2 million people were displaced and over 200 culturally significant towns were destroyed
  • China wants to build HEP dams on all of its major rivers. But Sichuan earthquake in 2008 was blamed on China's agressive HEP policy
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China's Energy Insecurity


  • China's largest oil fields have now peaked and exploration for new sources has begun offshore. It has began territorial disputes with neighbouring countries like Philippeans and Vietnam and deepwater oil projects have struggled to get investment from global groups


  • China's coal reserves are in the North and far West, but the areas that need it are in the East and South 
  • Due to a surge in the demand of energy there has been degridation in overall air quality (over 4 times the WHO suggested amount) and national wide powercuts 

Natural Gas

  • Plans have slowed down the expantion of Chinas use of natural gas, which burns cleaner and produces less greenhouse gases than coal and oil, but transport and building pipelines to supply areas are costly and difficult due to dense areas of population
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