With China’s push for rapid economic development, it’s no surprise that China consumes more energy than any other country in the world. As China dominates the global energy market, it also is the single biggest force in causing oil prices and carbon emissions to increase. However at the same time, the International Energy Agency claims China to be the most influential country in the development of renewable energy. China is looking to lower the costs of oil and reduce carbon emissions linked to negative climate change by improving the progress of green energy. This developmental process of increasing the supply of energy in China will affect almost every country in the world.
Today, China accounts for 17 percent of the world’s demand for energy and over the last decade this demand has doubled. China, with its population of 1.3 billion people, is the primary engine in the world’s demand for energy. This massive need for energy is causing China to invest in energy sources around the world such as oil fields in Sudan, hydroelectric power plants in Burma, and natural gas fields in the United States. China is also greatly increasing its domestic output of green energy by rapidly building wind farms and investing heavily in solar energy production. With plans to invest $735 billion in nuclear, wind, solar, and biomass projects, China will become the world’s leader in low-carbon energy production.
Energy experts state that China’s foreign and domestic policies will be in close correlation with its energy interests. China's business relations will then be affected by these "need-for-energy" influenced policies. In fact, China is already beginning to form relationships with foreign companies that provide energy efficient products. The German automaker, Volkswagen, plans to build 10,000 electric cars in China. Other foreign companies including Nissan Motor, General Motors, and Daimler are also planning to construct electric automobiles in China. Additionally, subsidies from China are granted to buyers of these clean energy cars in efforts to reduce oil consumption.
China is also the main component in the world trade of coal, another key energy source. Coal is the most carbon-intensive of the fossil fuels and it will take years for China to reduce its dependency on coal. In China’s industrial sector, about 60 percent of its energy comes from coal, accounting for three quarters of the global coal demand. China may look to reduce the use of coal with renewable energy sources like biofuels and geothermal power. Whatever decision China makes, its results will greatly affect the international demand of energy in some regard. In fact, many experts agree that the potential growth of global energy demand now lies in the hands of China.