Did China really overtake U.S as world's largest energy consumer? Looks like it

Last July, the Wall Street Journal reported that China had overtaken the U.S. to become the world's largest energy consumer. According to the WSJ, data gleaned from the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) confirmed that China's energy consumption surpassed all other nations. The IEA's report showed that China had consumed 2.252 billion tons of oil equivalent in 2009 (a metric that's used to represent all forms of energy consumed, including crude oil, nuclear power, coal, natural gas and renewable sources. Think of it as mpge for a country). For the sake of comparison, the IEA claimed that the U.S. had burned through 2.170 billion tons of oil equivalent in 2009.

However, China immediately disputed the IEA's claim, but failed to offer sufficient data to prove that it was not the world's largest energy consumer. Now, there seems to be additional evidence suggesting that China leads way. According to data released by the General Administration of Customs of China Monday, China imported 239 million tons of oil in 2010. This is a 17.5 percent increase over its crude imports in 2009. Furthermore, China Business News indicates that the increase in imported oil reflects the nation's growing energy demand and reinforces the notion that China has overtaken the U.S. in the position of biggest energy consumer in the world.

[Source: People's Daily Online | Image: D'Arcy Norman – C.C. License 2.0]

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