This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 22, 2006

DOE Report Raises Concerns About China's Energy Needs

DOE's Office of Policy and Foreign Affairs released a report in February that raises concerns about the impacts of China's growing energy needs. DOE prepared the report, "National Security Review of International Energy Requirements" to meet a requirement of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and enlisted the aid of the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State, and Treasury, as well as the Central Intelligence Agency. The report notes that China's energy demand is expected to more than double by 2025, contributing strongly to the growth in global energy demand. It concludes that although China is securing energy assets throughout the world to meet its future energy demand, this alone is not of concern for world energy supplies; the main concern is the impact of China's energy demand on world energy markets, regardless of how China acquires its energy. The report notes that greater use of energy efficiency and renewable energy in China and throughout the world, including the United States, could help limit the impact of China's economic growth.

There is, however, a political impact to China's energy investments. As noted on page 35 of the report: "In countries like Uzbekistan, Sudan, and Burma, China has openly supported regimes whose human rights violations, support for terrorism, or proliferation activities have engendered worldwide opposition. As a long-term trend, China's behavior in this respect runs counter to key strategic goals of the United States. ... Further, if Chinese companies increase their ownership of (energy) assets in these countries, this may increase China's propensity to intervene in order to protect its investments." See the 69-page report (PDF 496 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

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