According to the International Energy Agency, China has overtaken the U.S. to become world's largest energy consumer. The agency says China's rise to the top ranking was faster than expected, as the country was much less affected by the global financial crisis than the U.S.
China's prospects for future growth remain incredibly strong. Since 2000, China's energy demand has doubled. Prospects for further growth are very strong, considering the country's low per-capita consumption level and the fact that, with 1.3 billion people, China is the most populous nation on the planet.
The agency says that China's demand today would be even higher if the government had not made such progress in reducing the energy intensity (the energy input per dollar of output) of its economy. It has also very quickly become one of the world's leaders in renewable energy, particularly in wind power and solar energy, and paved the way for a big expansion of nuclear power.
SOURCE: International Energy Agency