While the United States is eviscerating its ability to produce energy, specifically oil and electricity, China is developing its energy resources at an amazing pace.
This administration’s opposition to fossil fuels and nuclear energy, with many in Congress and most environmentalists also opposed to fossil fuels and nuclear energy, will result in America’s decline.
The United States already lags behind developed countries in important areas such as education, but without energy the United States cannot maintain its standard of living.
China’s leaders recognize that energy is essential to economic development and to improving the standard of living of its citizens.
In 2011 China will surpass America in generation capacity. This is an amazing feat, in that China has doubled its generation capacity in only five years by adding 500 GW of capacity.
China now has the largest grid in the world, surpassing the United States. The Chinese grid is also more sophisticated with more Ultra-High-Voltage lines than in the United States.
China has 23 nuclear plants completed or under construction and plans on building around 100 by 2030.
China is building supercritical and ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plants. Five were built in 2009 and 40% will be supercritical or ultra-supercritical in 2010. About half of new coal fired power plants to be built by 2020 are to be ultra-supercritical.
Meanwhile a judge in Arkansas said ultra-supercritical plants were experimental when he ruled against AEP using the ultra-supercritical plant its building in Arkansas to provide electricity for those living in Arkansas.
Coal provided 78% of China’s electricity in 2006. Coal will remain the dominant fuel in 2030 with 75% of electricity being generated using coal.
China lacks sufficient oil and natural gas within its borders so it’s going abroad, buying into oil and natural gas fields around the world and making supply agreements with Iran and others.
It is also investigating shale gas.
China’s growing strength must be taken into account as we dither with our energy policy.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Power Magazine has an outstanding article on China in its July 2010 issue and that the U.S. Naval Institute has two comprehensive articles on China in its April, 2010 issue of Proceedings.