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Jewish Theological Seminary of America ​The big issue for China in terms of energy is just trying to mobilize enough energy fast enough to feed this monstrous juggernaut economy. And it's an economy that's in a deeply energy intensive phase of industrial and economic development. So energy consumption is rising, very high rates. Total energy consumption rising five- seven percent, oil consumption rising five and ten percent every year, so power/ electricity demand over the last decade has been rising at ten and fifteen percent a year. It's an extraordinary pace. And so the challenge is just mobilizing enough energy to make sure that energy is not a bottleneck to economic growth, to the job machine, to social stability and ultimately the the political legitimacy of the Communist Party. So everything they do is aimed at how do we make sure we have enough oil, how do we make sure we have enough coal to burn to generate enough electricity, how can we find any other generation source, because electricity is growing its enormous size and scale. And that's the big challenge and everything they've done is aimed at trying to trying to keep up with that machine. Prices is officially a very big problem because they come out of a history where you hold energy prices down, that stimulates economic growth, trade competitiveness, people's incomes but as demand is increased and increasingly have to import energy from all over the place at very high international prices, you get a huge mismatch now between international prices, import prices, domestic prices. At the same time low energy prices, particular electricity, tend to make electricity demand grow even faster and you have industries being invested in like aluminum and steel, over invested in because cheap energy makes that make sense. So it's creating all kinds of problems. You can see it on the oil side, fuel prices are relatively low, they're gradually bringing them up but the refining companies are losing money hand over fist because administered prices are too low. And again that stimulates demand, the desire for have having vehicles, other things. So there's a huge problem of getting prices up to levels which actually begin to affect demand growth and to levels that match international prices, this is a particular problem in natural gas as well. So price reform is vital. It's very sensitive because it feeds into inflation, it feeds into people's standards of living, which again is the key litmus test for the leadership's legitimacy. So they're very very slow and reticent to raise those prices. Every time they do the taxi drivers and the truck drivers come out into the streets and so it's a very delicate problem. And add to that the split within all the bureaucracy here, the NDRC and all the different agencies involved in pricing and those kind of decisions about supply, it turns into a real problem. It became net importer in 1993 and it was really not until the late 90s that this kind of the growth and import dependence really set in on the leadership psychologically. And at that point, there's a very powerful perception that somehow we need to have physical control of those barrels, we need to own those barrels that we can get from abroad. Rather than just relying on normal, which is term contracts, I mean that's how most oil works globally is on term contract. You contract with Saudi Arabia for 500,000 barrels a day, they produce it, put it on a tanker and you pay for it. But the Chinese have this much more visceral narrow sense of well, security means we own those barrels, we have our companies producing those barrels, we even want to put them on Chinese tankers, makes us feel more secure. All of this is largely an illusion because most of what can affect your supplies they are things that you can't help with by owning the barrels. But this is a powerful sense. So they have been very active in promoting their three national oil companies, going out buying up oil fields around the world, developing new businesses so oil businesses, gas business. Central Asia, they started first in Southeast Asia really, Indonesia and places like that they've since gone heavily into Central Asia, heavily into Africa, even in the Latin America Venezuela, Brazil, places like that. Now they're coming into North America in a fairly sizable way into the shale oil and gas production. They're coming into Canada in a big way. So they're spreading out as they go. The companies are becoming more capable, more commercially competitive, but it's still driven by this sense that you know the more oil we own and physically control the more secure we are. The problem with that is they simply cannot build that production and buy those fields fast enough. Because in the time they've gone from two million barrels a day of imports to five and a half million barrels a day imports, they've increased their production of what they control by maybe a million barrels. Demand is out running that. They're going to have to rely on the marketplace and a more flexible you know flexible transparent world market for oil is the only way they're really going to be able to meet that rising demand. But they're very uncomfortable with that. They don't trust the market very well. They think it's controlled by OPEC, it's controlled by the U.S, by the big oil companies. You know the oil market is a very peculiar animal, its not like any other resource market. And so they feel very vulnerable, they are late arrivers. So this sense that we need to have physical control of what comes over the sea lanes, we build pipelines when it comes

over land to them as diversifying makes it more secure. And this is you know you see this in India, you see it in Japan, Korea, others have a similar kind of sense that well somehow physical control is more secure. But the Chinese are the biggest and so you have this China Energy Inc, China energy incorporated, out there kind of presenting this face of the Chinese government helping their companies, companies pulling the government into all these places from Sudan, Durant, you name it. But it's a powerful sense they've got to physically control those barrels even though ultimately they can't keep up with this machine. The big elephant in the room for the Chinese energy picture is that two-thirds of their energy supply is in coal. Global average is about twenty-five percent, so wildly out sized compared to most places. Why is that? Well they have a lot of coal, a lot of inexpensive coal and they need a lot of electricity so this coal electricity nexus is driving a huge consumption of coal. And that continues to grow at a rate of anywhere from seven to ten percent a year coal consumption. About another twenty percent is oil and that's growing very fast because of first, industrial use but motorization is beginning to really accelerate China so oil. And then you have small parts of five to seven percent hydroelectric, a little bit of nuclear, all those growing very fast and renewables are growing extremely fast. The big gap in the normal energy mix has been natural gas. As little as five years ago is two percent of the energy mix, twenty-five percent worldwide so they've been stepping on the gas, literally, to accelerate use of natural gas because it's you know half the co2 and pollutants of coal. And so they want to use a lot more natural gas at building pipelines, doing all kinds of things, trying to mobilize natural gas. But it's still only six or seven percent of the mix but as coal, as the elephant in the room that creates a huge sets of environmental issues, just the scale of moving enough coal. You know something to try to get some perspective on it, in the 10 years from 2000-2010 the increase in Chinese energy demand, just the growth, is equivalent to two Latin Americas. So they've literally created two continents of energy demand, new energy demand, in the space of ten years. And every five or six years that's going to continue to create another new continent of energy demand. So the scale of mobilizing coal and power, building enough power plants, doing all this is just absolutely staggering. And it helps explain why the problem is so severe because it's so big, trying to change the mix to a cleaner mix while you're meeting demand, I always say it's like changing your tire on your car when you're driving 80 miles an hour. It's very difficult thing to do, so it's a tough challenge. The trick is to keep meeting this juggernaut oil energy consumption but at the same time shift into a cleaner mix. We just saw in Beijing and northeast China, this massive unbelievably terrible pollution episode, 75 percent of that comes from coal, burning coal and coal dust. Another fifteen-twenty percent is transportation. So their overall energy mix is about 85 to 90 percent black, oil or coal, so they need to shift as fast as possible towards natural gas, towards nuclear and other renewables, hydroelectric. The tough part is that they're going as fast as they can to develop natural gas, they're going as fast as humanly possible, maybe too fast on developing nuclear, building nuclear power plants. They're building the equivalent of three gorges dam every 12 or 18 months, to try to keep up with hydro. But they are also just throwing a huge amounts of money at renewables particularly wind and to some extent solar. They've built wind power on a capacity and pace that is absolutely stunning. They've gone from one gigawatt of capacity of wind power they're headed for 50 gigawatts right now and the target very soon is 100 gigawatts of power. You know give you a sense that their total gigawatts is about 1,100 gigawatts of capacity of power nationally right now so these are very big numbers. The difficult part is that even though they're moving fast on renewables just behind the US as the largest investor in renewables annually. The overall electricity, this general electricity curve is rising so fast that even with all these new supplies coming into the grid, they're still having to burn ten percent more coal almost every year, to keep up with this big steep curve. So it is this problem of changing a tire while you're flying along in the freeway. They're trying to meet the need, they're building as fast as they can, but even so, they still have to keep using more coal. So this is a really difficult problem and when you think about the tensions in the South China Sea, territorial tensions and what oil and gas might potentially be available out there, is the fact that we really don't know yet. Because there hasn't been much drilling out there because these are contested areas nobody's going to do that kind of drillings. We do know that it's surrounded by large deposits, mainly actually natural gas, Indonesia, Malaysia up through Vietnam, even in South China Sea, Hi Nan into that area. So clearly there are resources out there. Some of the estimates that you see from the U.S. geologic survey are something in the order of I think 15 billion barrels but that's a wild estimate. The interesting thing is the Chinese estimates are much larger than. So you know it hardly is what you believe. If you believe those resources are two or three times that, then the stakes get a lot higher. So I think there's probably significant oil and gas reserves out there, probably no doubt. But we won't know until we drill and that requires some sort of agreements on demarcation. I think ultimately these are issues about sovereignty and you know we've gotten complicated there. But they are really fundamentally about sovereignty, but energy and fisheries, in particular, have the effect of being multipliers, is the way I've put it. They raise the stakes even higher in what's already a fundamentally intractable set of disputes. So I think energy is in the background, it's in some of the thinking in China. Recall that they

want to find resources, oil and gas in their territorial because that's less imported, more secure from their perception. So I think there's a strong interest in being able to assert that claim in the South China Sea. But I think energy is just one of many factors in that. What China does is absolutely critically important in every dimension of energy, coal and co2 and pollution and health, oil and oil prices and controlling oil supply routes and even in natural gas, renewables. So decisions that China makes about motorization, vehicles, mileage, all that thing, have vital impact on global markets, prices, all of us. You know what is decided in Beijing affects everybody in the energy world today because of simply the scale and pace of this thing. The second fact is that the other big juggernaut, leviathan is the US, the US and China dwarf everybody else in terms of energy consumption, oil consumption, vehicle markets, electricity, coal consumption. Everybody else is lilliputians compared to us. It's going to be very difficult to deal with things like climate, energy security, cooperation, strategic stocks, unless the US and China can come to you know it's not a G2 or e2 I call it an e2, but it's we have to agree that each other's doing the heavy lifting that we expect. Doesn't have to be agreement as much as some consensus that we can work at common purposes. Otherwise we're not going to solve any of these critical global energy problems. Vassar College, Poughkeepsie.