Monday, September 25, 2006

Interesting Der Spiegel Section

I rate Der Spiegel's reporting quality on the same standards as BBC Radio and The Economist. Their crew puts an insane amount of analysis and insight, with zero fluff..

I spent a few hours digesting this section they call: The New Cold War: Global Battle for Natural Resources

Interesting factoids:

"Peak oil" consumption, or "Depletion mid-point" will be reached within the next 10 to 20 years, according to Gerling's most recent study. The depletion mid-point is the point at which half of the total quantity of petroleum has been used up.

India consumes 1/10'th of the oil that the United States does. (Source)

Motor vehicles consume half the world's oil. (Source)

Both India and China have a 30 year trade agreement for Gas, while India only gets 7.5 million tons of LNG, China gets 250 million tons.

The original Diesel engine was invented to run on vegetable oil (Source)

40% of Brazil's fuel comes organically from bioethanol, a form of alcohol. (Source)

Three corporations control about three-fourths of the world's supply of iron ore. (Source)

The energy content of the vegetation that is constantly reproducing itself on the Earth's surface exceeds humanity's current energy needs by a factor of between eight and 10. (Source)

China wants to build 25 to 30 new nuclear energy plants by 2020. (Source)

The Three Gorges Dam, which displaced a million people and took 16-years to construct will generate 85 billon kilowatt hours of electricity annually. It is 5 times the size of the Hoover Dam (Source) By current estimates, it will only supply 3% of annual power demand for China.

Per capita consumption by an average American is 33 times more than an average Indian (Source)

India consumes 3% of the world's energy (Source)

End of Article Analysis:
Despite the far-sightedness of its energy strategy -- and the ruthlessness with which it implements that strategy -- China is having serious difficulties securing the resources it needs. For this reason alone, it is far from certain that the much-quoted "Chinese century" will really happen. The same is true of China's aspiring rival India -- and of Japan, which has to import 80 percent of its resources. (Take that Friedman!!!)

1 comment:

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