The study's authors said this finding has timely significance because China's growing energy use could continue to pose a major challenge for global climate deliberations in South Africa this week.
The study, "The Rise of China and Its Energy Implications," finds that China's recent efforts at centralizing energy policy do not appear to be significantly more successful than the makeshift patchwork of energy initiatives devised by the United States. In fact, the study said, the U.S. system of open and competitive private sector investment is stimulating more innovation in the American energy sector than in the Chinese energy industry, especially in the area of unconventional oil and gas.
That, ironically, is attracting Chinese state investment to U.S. shores and prompting Beijing to consider further opening of its oil and gas exploration activities to partnerships with U.S. firms, the study said.
China, like the United States, has substantial potential shale gas resources but faces technical, regulatory and market infrastructure challenges that are likely to delay rapid development. Were China to mobilize investments in shale gas more quickly, the study said, it could greatly reduce the country's expected large import needs for liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Australia and the Middle East and contribute to a future glut in global natural gas markets.
Despite sporadic government policies to discourage private car ownership, the growth in the number of vehicles on the road in China has more than quadrupled in recent years to more than 50 million. The Baker Institute report projects that this number could increase to more than 200 million vehicles by 2020 and 770 million by 2040 under a scenario where China's real gross domestic product growth averages 6 percent between now and 2030. Even under a scenario where the number of electric cars rises to 5 million a year by 2030, which is in line with ambitious targets announced by China's National Development and Reform Commission, China's oil use from the transportation sector will grow significantly, the Baker Institute study said.
"Given the scale of vehicle stock growth in China, it is going to be extremely difficult to move the needle of the country's rising transport fuel outlook," said Kenneth Medlock, a study author and the James A. Baker III and Susan G. Baker Fellow in Energy and Resource Economics at the Baker Institute.
The study noted that China's "going abroad" strategy has also encountered recent difficulties in light of geopolitical events and rising global political risks in oil-producing regions.
"China is learning that owning equity oil in risky regions may not be as effective an energy security strategy as it had previously imagined," said Amy Myers Jaffe, an author of the study and the Wallace S. Wilson Fellow for Energy Studies at the Baker Institute. "China is now finding itself mired in more energy-related foreign diplomacy than it bargained for.
"But this could be good news for the United States," Jaffe said. "It may mean China will be more inclined to act in concert with other members of the international community in conflict-prone regions."
The study noted that China has tried to offset some of this risk by increasing investments in the United States and Canada, which gives the U.S. more leverage in seeking China's collaboration in international diplomatic matters.
More findings from the energy study will be publicly released ahead of a daylong conference at the Baker Institute Dec. 2. To view the study, go to www.bakerinstitute.org/riseofchina.
Founded in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston ranks among the top 20 university-affiliated think tanks globally and top 30 think tanks in the United States. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute sponsors more than 20 programs that conduct research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute's strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows and Rice University scholars. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute's blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog.
David Ruth | EurekAlert!
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
23.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
23.10.2017 | Life Sciences
23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine