Over the last decade, China’s booming economy has had far-reaching impacts throughout the world. Counting more than 1.3 billion people, China’s economy demands significant quantities of raw materials and energy from throughout the world. Consequently, its deceleration will have an inverse impact.
But it will also inform the choices they make as a society – particularly in their energy makeup. And that’s good news for Canada’s western natural gas exports.
Why? Despite China’s GDP cooling from a world-leading 10 per cent to 7.5 per cent this year, and manufacturing and exports weakening, growth in absolute energy consumption is nevertheless rising. Because of their sheer numbers, they don’t need economic growth to require greater amounts of energy, overall. Continuing expansion of their middle class, among other factors will propel their energy consumption to twice that of the entire European continent by 2025.
Till now, their overwhelming energy demands have been met by coal. Coal provided their flourishing economy with scalable, cheap energy – much the way it did in the West’s Industrial Age. This much coal consumption, of course, comes with massive negative consequences to the environment and public health.
Over the next two decades, China will turn to clean, affordable and reliable natural gas. After all, it’s the way of all developing economies in history – they must diversify their energy sources. And natural gas is the only scalable, clean-burning energy that makes sense. By 2025, China could be consuming natural gas in quantities close to what the U.S. consumes today. Supplying China will benefit Canada’s Western gas industry like never before.
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