The Physics
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Energy Consumption of China

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Bibliographic Entry Result
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Tipler, Paul A. College Physics. New York. Worth, 1987: 136-137. "21 × 109 joules per capita energy consumption in 1980" 1.638 × 1019 J
The World Almanac and Book of Facts. New York: Scripps Howard, 1993: 170. "28.85 × 1015 Btu in 1990" 3.044 × 1019 J
Energy Statistics Yearbook. New York: United Nations, 1985. "18,438 thousand terajoules in 1983
16,494 thousand terajoules in 1980"
1.8438 × 1019 J
1.6494 × 1019 J
International Enrgy Annual 1996. Energy Information Administration. Department of Energy. "China is currently the second largest energy consumer in the world, following the United States, (about 36 quadrillion Btu in 1995 versus 88 quadrillion Btu in the United States)." 3.8 × 1019 J

China is the third largest country by area and the largest country by population with a 1994 estimate of nearly 1.2 billion people (1,190,431,106 people). With an estimated world population of nearly 5.4 billion people in 1994 China comprises about 22% of the world population in 1994. Even with the largest population in the world, China only ranks second to the United States in energy consumption. In 1995, China consumed 36 quadrillion Btu (British Thermal Units, 1 Btu equals 1054.35 J of energy) of energy compared to the 88 quadrillion Btu consumed by the United States.

Currently China consumes about 10% of the world's energy. In 1990, the industrial sector consumed 75% of the total energy produced by China, with residential/commercial sectors consuming 18%, and transportation consuming 7%. As the data shown, China's energy consumption has increased dramatically from 1980 to 1995, from 16.464 million terajoules to 38 million terajoules -- an increase of 2.3 times.

China also produces about 10 percent of the total world energy production. This 10 percent of the world's energy produced by China combines coal, petroleum, hydroelectric power, natural gas, and nuclear power. Coal dominates China's energy production accounting for 74.5% China's energy production in 1995, with petroleum at 18.1%, hydroelectric power at 5.1%, natural gas at 1.9%, and nuclear power at 0.4%.

It is expected that by the year 2015, coal will increase its percentage of the total energy produced by China up to 77.4%. With the decline in the world's supply of petroleum, other fuel types such as hydroelectricity, natural gas, and nuclear energy will become increasingly important in China's future.

Jimmy Seto -- 1998