'Rising India, China boosting world energy use'

Washington, July 26 (IANS) Driven by growth in the developing world, particularly the rising prosperity in India and China, world energy consumption is projected to increase by 56 percent over the next three decades, according to a new report.

The International Energy Outlook 2013, released Thursday by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), estimates that energy use would increase from 524 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2010 to 820 quadrillion Btu in 2040 with half of the total world increase attributed to China and India.

"Rising prosperity in China and India is a major factor in the outlook for global energy demand. These two countries combined account for half the world's total increase in energy use through 2040," said EIA Administrator Adam Sieminski.

"This will have a profound effect on the development of world energy markets," he said.

With clean fuel technology playing an important role, renewable energy and nuclear power are expected to grow faster than fossil fuels, the report said.

Much of the growth in energy consumption would occur in countries outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), where strong, long-term economic growth would push the increases by 90 percent as against 17 percent in OECD nations.

In contrast to the OECD nations, developing non-OECD economies, particularly in non-OECD Asia, have led the global recovery from the 2008-2009 recession.

China and India have been among the world's fastest growing economies for the past two decades.

From 1990 to 2010, China's economy grew by an average of 10.4 percent per year and India's by 6.4 percent per year.

Although economic growth in the two countries remained strong through the global recession, both slowed in 2012 to rates much lower than analysts had predicted at the start of the year.

In 2012, real GDP in China increased by 7.2 percent, its lowest annual growth rate in 20 years. India's real GDP growth slowed to 5.5 percent in 2012, the report noted.

The near-term expansion of coal consumption reflects significant increases in China, India, and other non-OECD countries, the outlook said.

Coal consumption is dominated by China (47 percent), the US (14 percent), and India (9 percent), with those three countries together accounting for 70 percent of total world coal consumption in 2010, the report said. Their share of world coal is projected to increase to 75 percent in 2040.

World net electricity generation is projected to increase by 93 percent from 20.2 trillion kilowatthours in 2010 to 39.0 trillion kilowatthours in 2040.

Total net electricity generation in non-OECD countries is projected to increases by an average of 3.1 percent per year, led by non-OECD Asia (including China and India), where annual increases average 3.6 percent from 2010 to 2040.

In contrast, total net generation in the OECD nations would grow by an average of 1.1 percent per year from 2010 to 2040.

The report also projects substantial increases in nuclear generating capacity including 149 gigawatts in China, 47 gigawatts in India, 31 gigawatts in Russia, and 27 gigawatts in South Korea.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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