World Energy Outlook 2002 sees China set to be a strategic buyer on world energy markets, while enormous investment on energy infrastructure is needed

Robert Priddle, executive director of the Paris-based International Energy Agency, released as a separate publication today in Beijing the "China Energy Outlook". "Between now and 2030, China will account for a fifth of the growth in world energy demand," Mr. Priddle said. This China Energy Outlook explores the country's emerging strategic role as an energy giant.

This analysis was first released on 21 September, as a chapter of the complete World Energy Outlook 2002 in Osaka, Japan at the International Energy Forum. The Outlook, which appears every two years, is the IEA's most ambitious and most widely read publication. It projects trends in energy supply and demand, prices, trade and carbon emissions from now until the year 2030. Its projections are recognised as authoritative throughout the energy world.

The China Energy Outlook was prepared in co-operation with the Energy Research Institute of China's State Development Planning Commission. It provides a detailed look at the world's second-largest consumer of primary energy. Over the next thirty years, strong economic growth in China will drive up energy demand and imports. While coal will continue to dominate its energy mix, the shares of oil, natural gas and nuclear energy in China's primary fuel mix will grow.

China will become a major importer of oil and gas. By 2030, Chinese oil imports will equal the imports of the United States today, while imports will meet 30% of the country's gas demand. "These trends will make China a strategic buyer on world energy markets," Mr. Priddle remarked.

The Outlook also highlights the country's ongoing energy sector reform program and the implications of its recent accession to membership in the World Trade Organisation. And it assesses the enormous investments that will need to be mobilised to expand the infrastructure of China's domestic energy system. "Financing these investments", said Mr. Priddle, "will be a major challenge for China." More than $800 billion will be needed for new power generating capacity alone over the next three decades.