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China tops US as world's largest energy consumer

business Updated: Jun 10, 2011 02:01 IST
HT Correspondent

China has become the world's largest energy consumer, overtaking the US. Chinese energy consumption grew by 11.2% between 2009 and 2010, the highest for any country. India was not far behind, recording a high 9.2% increase in energy consumption, according to the Statistical Review of World Energy 2011 report released by petroleum giant BP this week.

2009-10 was a energy-hungry year, where global oil consumption grew by 2.7 million barrels per day(bpd), or 3.1%, the strongest growth since 2004. "China contributed the largest national increment; its consumption rose by 8,60,000 bpd. The United States, Russia, and Brazil also recorded large increments." said Christof Rühl, chief economist, BP, elaborating on the oil consumption data.

Compounding the tag of 'dirty' growth, coal consumption in China and India increased from 2009-2010 by 10.1% and 10.8% respectively. Spain, however, decreased its coal consumption by 21.3% in the same period. China last year consumed 48.2% of the world's coal and accounted for nearly two-thirds of global consumption growth.

The large increase in energy consumption in China and India came from broadly two factors according to Bob Dudley, BP chief executive.

"The cyclical factor — industrial production rebounded very sharply as the world recovered from the global downturn. Also, the structural factor- reflecting the continuing rapid economic growth in the developing world," Dudley said.

The shift to renewable forms of energy for consumption in developed nations continues, with Spain recording a whopping 60.9% increase in hydroelectric energy consumption, whereas India's was a mere 4.9%.

India consumes merely 3.2% of the world's hydroelectric energy and 7.8% of the world's coal.