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Energy Demand Climbs in India and China/Nuclear, Hydro and Gas Projects Grow, but Coal Remains Dominant, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

China:  China has become the world’s biggest energy consumer by many estimates, surpassing the U.S.  China continues to rely on coal for a major portion of its electricity needs, but it is investing heavily in other resources.  China is industrializing and modernizing at a very rapid rate.  As a result, its demand for energy is booming, due both to a rise in its industrial base and to rapidly growing middle and upper classes that are clamoring for automobiles, larger houses and other energy-guzzling items such as TVs and home computers.
Today, China imports oil from sources all over the world.  Like many other nations, it is working hard to improve its oil security and move away from reliance on OPEC and other traditional sources.  As a result, China is investing heavily in oil fields and projects from South America to Indonesia to Kazakhstan to Russia.  China National Offshore Oil Corp. International Limited (CNOOC), for example, has properties in production or under development in Indonesia, Australia and Nigeria.
China is also importing oil heavily from Canada and investing in Canadian ventures.  China’s state-controlled CNOOC owns significant interests in Canadian oil sands companies.
Meanwhile, China is home to some of the world's largest reserves of shale gas and shale oil.  However, the nation lacks the technical expertise to develop those resources.  China will also have difficulty meeting the immense water needs of fracking.  The country has partnered with foreign firms to begin drilling test wells in shale.
China has become the world’s largest automobile market, surpassing the U.S. in terms of units purchased each year.  China’s government is trying to head off growing automobile pollution and gasoline consumption problems.  It has imposed strict new mileage standards for automobiles.  Electric vehicles may quickly become popular in China.  Now is definitely the time to plan ahead for China’s energy future and lay the groundwork for widespread alternative and renewable power sources, as the country continues to rapidly grow its economy.  China has become a global leader in the manufacture of both wind turbines and solar cells.  Its firms produce large quantities of renewable energy equipment, both for export and for domestic installation.
Also, one of China’s prime renewable sources is hydroelectric power.  Already one of the world’s largest producers of such power, China planned to dramatically boost its output to 300 gigawatts, taking advantage of massive rivers that flow through the center of the nation.  China is also investing heavily in solar, wind and biomass projects.
China is investing heavily in nuclear reactors.  Meanwhile, China will continue to rely very heavily on coal for generation.  Unfortunately, its coal-fired plants are very heavy polluters, adding to China’s already great dilemma with industrial emissions. China’s burning of coal is one of the world’s largest sources of carbon dioxide emissions.  Adoption of clean coal technologies, such as relatively easy to install scrubbers, would be an immense help.  China holds massive coal reserves.  
In 2021, China’s President Xi vowed to cease building new coal plants outside of China and cancelled 40 planned projects.  However, in 2023, the country moved ahead with plans to build new coal-fired plants in Indonesia, where there are 14.5 gigawatts of coal plants in developmental stages.  
India:  India’s national government has promised to invest in its electrical capacity in order to provide power to more residents.  The government is seeking private sector investment and promoting competition for lucrative power plant contracts.  It is actively promoting construction of coal-fired plants, nuclear plants and renewable energy.  Large parts of rural India have little to no access to reliable electricity supplies.  Low-income, rural areas often rely on burning wood or dung for fuel, along with small solar cells for recharging of cellphones.
For now, India will continue to rely very heavily on coal-burning electric generating plants.  India’s use of coal will accelerate along with its economic growth.  Eventually, the nation has a vision of significant development of solar and other renewable sources.  In addition, a primary focus for India’s development will be nuclear power generation.

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