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Environmental Sciences

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Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz - KFU

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Bednar-Friedl 2011

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7. Managing the global energy challenges

Chapter Editors

Contents

1 Asia’s hunger for energy. 5

1.1 Asia-Worlds largest Continent 6

1.1.1 Emerging countries. 6

1.1.2 Demographics. 7

1.1.3 Asian Energy Demand and Competition 8

1.2 Energy for Asia. 9

1.2.1 Asia`s energy source mix. 10

1.2.2 Relationship between energy consumption and economic growth 11

1.3 CO2 emissions of selected Asian countries compared to western countries. 12

1.4 Future energy supply and security in Asia. 12

1.5 Nuclear power for Asia. 13

1.6 Case scenarios of economic development and resource development 17

1.7 Bibliography. 18

Figures

Figure 1: Unit Nations geoscheme subregions of Asia. 6

Figure 2: Total population sizes, China and India, 2000-2035. 8

Figure 3: Coal dominates energy consumption in China. 9

Figure 4: Asia`s energy source mix. 10

Figure 5: Key indicators of seven Asian countries 11

Figure 6: Total CO2 emissions and CO2 emissions per capita. 12

Figure 7: Nuclear power reactors in China. 15

Figure 8: Nuclear power reactors in India. 16


 

Tables

Table 1: Nuclear Electricity Net Generation. 13


 

Title

7.1Asia’s hunger for energy

Authors

Date

April 2011

Content


Asia is the largest continent in both size and population. First of all we want to describe this continent with focus on china and India. The development of the population in these emerging countries in combination with Energy Demand is one reason for the economic growth. Asiameets up to84% of itsneeds for energy bythetwofossilfuels, coaland oil. Thus, Asia is theworld regionwiththehighestcarbon emissions. However,thepercapitaenergyconsumption is onlyhalf aslarge astheglobalaverage (Umbach, 2003: 114).


Thefollowingchapters deal withthedevelopmentofcommoditydemand in selectedareas of Asiaandtheresultingimpactonworldcommodityprices. Then,a comparisonofCO2emissionswith otherregions oftheworld will be made.


Because of the tragic occurrences in Japan, a part of the essay deals with Asia´s nuclear power plants, the need of this form of energy in the emerging countries and the long term strategy regarding nuclear energy.

In the last part, we try to point out some possible scenarios regarding the growth rates of the population, the economy and as a result of these, the role of China and India as global players and the impact of the environment in the region and the whole world.

1.1         Asia-Worlds largest Continent

There are seven continents on earth. The largest continent is Asia. Asia makes up one third of all the land in the world. Asia has 49 different countries. The largest country is Russia with 6.500.000 square mile. There are six-sub regions, West Asia and Gulf, Southwest Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia, which in terms of population and area are bigger than Europe.

Asia is a mega-continent, an aggragation of sub-continents rather than of regions.( Sakamoto, 1988: 19).

Figure 1: Unit Nations geoschemesubregions of Asia

(the full wiki, 4th may 2011).

1.1.1     Emerging countries

During the last 20 years, the buss world has gone through drastic but mostly positive changes. In the 1980s, buss on international terrain was essentially practiced by the 20 richest countries (EU, US and Japan) During the 1990s the term emerging market first appeared and is widely used nowadays.

China and India have gradually evolved their economics and political systems to embrace and flourish in global capitalism, reducing barriers and impediments around the flow of trade goods and capital. These two countries are expected to become the dominant global suppliers of manufactured goods and services. High economic growth combined with enormous populations of these nations will translate into a large aggregations of wealth, creating ever more attractive world market. (.....[read full text]

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Figure 2: Total population sizes, China and India, 2000-2035

(DaVanzo, 2010: 2).

India’s population is projected to grow and surpassing China in 2025, whereas China’s population is projected to reach a maximum, of nearly 1.400 billion, in 2026 and to decrease thereafter.

1.1.3     Asian Energy Demand and Competition

Asia is the fast growing market. China and Japan are the second and third largest consumers of imported energy. India is catching up fast. Asia is the new energy player in the coming decade. Though the Persian Gulf will remain the principal source of oil supplies, the Asian countries are actively engaged in diversifying their import market.

China is generously endowed with energy resources, special coal and renewable like hydropower, wind, biomass and solar. Also China possesses significant oil and gas resources and continues to enjoy some success in exploration within ist territory, ist reserves are to less for this growth.Thegoverment of china has a encouraged ist national oil companies to invest in developing oil resources abroad.

Those companies have investments in several countries.India and China have joined the group of the world’s biggest importers of oil and gas. China relies on its state energy companies to access new resources at home and abroad. India’s energy sector is mainly privatised. China's total energy consumption experienced a dramatic increase in the last three decades and doubled even during the short time lap of between 2000 and 2008.More than two thirds of China's energy relies on coal, making of this country World's largest coal consumer.(Umbach, 2003: 103-112).

Figure 3: Coal dominates energy consumption in China.

(National Academy of engineering, 4th may 2011).

India’s rise as one of the world’s major energy consumers shows many parallels to China.India was the fifth largest consumer of oil in the world during 2006 according to EnergyInformation Agency. The Indian government estimates that the country’senergy consumption will rise 50 % by 2015 based on 2005 levels. (Pan,2008: 209).

Similarly to China,reliable energy supply has become a limiting factor for the future development of India’seconomy, both for its emerging industry as for the country’s rural development.As China, most of India`s primary energy use relies on coal, though significantly less (41% against 70%). More of its energy comes from oil (which India has to import mostly) and from combustion renewable and waste (up to 27%).

This percentage, which may look surprising at first glance, is due to the fact that it is the traditional source of energy of India's rural areas. (International E.....

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1.2.2     Relationship between energy consumption and economic growth

The main factor for the production process is energy, thus the energy consumption is closely related with the level of economic performance in a country. Highly industrialized nations have learned to separate economic growth from proportional input of energy. This is possible through the input of more efficient technology. (Chaturvedi, 1997: 114).

The table below shows the key factors of seven developing Asian countries, among others the population, GDP, per capita GDP, per capita energy consumption.

Figure 5: Key indicators of seven Asian countries

(Chaturvedi 1997: 45).

The countries shown inFigure5 achieved a high economic growth in the decade from 1980 to 1992. But there are some differences between countries in economic output. For example China is the biggest country with a population of nearly 1.2 billion which had the highest average growth rate of GDP in that period with 9.2 percent and a per capita primary energy consumption of 655.1 kilograms of oil equivalents.

In comparison Korea is a small country with a population of nearly 44 million, which had an average GDP growth of 8.7 percent from 1980 to 1992 and a per capita primary energy consumption of 2657 kilograms of oil equivalents. Korea and Taiwan had the highest per capita GDP in 1992, 6739 US Dollars and 7730 US Dollars. The Philipp trail behind the other countries with the weakest average GDP growth rate of 1.4 percent and the lowest per capita primary energy consumption of 215.5 kilograms of oil equivalents.

The table above shows that countries with a higher growth of GDP have higher per capita energy con.....

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Nations like Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, South Korea and the Iran are showing nearly the same amount of emissions per capita in a range of circa 8 to 11 tonnes.

Figure 6: Total CO2 emissions and CO2 emissions per capita. (Union of Concerned Scientists. , 4th may 2011).

What are the reasons that now China is one of the biggest polluter in the world? The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency says that one important fact for the explosion of Chinas emissions is the increasing need for coal for the electricity production and the rising cement production (The Guardian. 4th may 2011).

1.4         Future energy supply and security in Asia

A report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) says that more than 50 percent of the growing world oil demand is due to the transportation sector until 2020. The world will be still dependent on oil in the first half of the 21st century.

Dr. Michael May a former director of Lawrence Livermore Laboratory of Stanford University analyzed the long term energy situation and security in Asia. Summarizing you can say, that due to the economic growth in Asia the energy needs will be covered until the mid of coming century. The price of the energy supply will increase but will not slow down the economic growth.

But there are conditions that must be met, for example the international markets for resources must remain free and new investments must be made, which bring new supply for the mar.....

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Table 1: Nuclear Electricity Net Generation.

(EIA Energy Information Administration. 3rd May, 2011).

Supporters of nuclear generated power always argue with facts like “China and India are the two most populous countries, with nearly 37% of world’s population and an impressive economic growth of about 10% per year. They are already the 2nd and 5th worlds most energy consuming countries in the world. By considering these facts it is obvious that Che and Indian energy policy has a huge impact on the whole world economy and it is legitimate to see China´s and India’s energy challenges as the world energy challenges.” ((EIA Energy Information Administration 4th. May, 2011).

As already described before China overtook the USA as the world´s largest emitter of greenhouse gases in 2006 and is now the 1st and India the 4th carbon dioxide emitter in the world. Nuclear power lobbyists always try to describe nuclear power as clean, without carbon dioxide output. They also argue that without nuclear power, the need of electricity in those rapid growing countries cannot be fulfilled without new nuclear power plants.

For example in China, the domestic electricity consumption in 2009 was 2643 billion kWh, which was an increase of about 6%, compared to 2008.Nuclear power lobbyists now try to cover these additional needs with nuclear power. In China, there are 13 nuclear power reactors in operation and more than 25 under construction and lots of .....

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Figure 8: Nuclear power reactors in India.

(World-nuclear.org, 3rdMay, 2011).

Russia was the first country with an operating nuclear power plant and currently has 31 nuclear plants with more than 150 billion kWh capacity. Half of the reactors in Russia are based on the same design as the Chernobyl plant and many of the plants are older than 30 years, which compiles the working lifetime of such plants. Russia plans to provide 23% of electricity in 2020 by nuclear power, therefore currently some new plants are under planning and construction.


Before the earth quake and the resulting accident in Fukushima, Japan had 17 nuclear power plants with a capacity of about 265 billion kWh, which was about one third of Japans electricity generation. After the US and France Japan is on the 3rd place in nuclear power capacity.

South Korea has five nuclear power plants with 21 reactors on line which provide almost 40% of South Koreas electricity. It is planned to increase the share to about 56% by 2020 with 11 new reactors which are under construction or in planning.

In Taiwan three nuclear power plants are on line and in Pakistan, the seventh nuclear power generating country in Asia has two plants which can supply about 2,3% of the country’s electricity needs.(EIA Energy Information Administration. 3rd May, 2011).

In Europe some nuclear power generating countries, like Germany have already announced to cancel their nuclear power programs and shut down all their plants. Also in Japan thousands of people demonstrated after the worst case accident in Fukushima for an atomic-free future. In April 2011, also the worst case accident of Chernobyl had .....

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