FEEDING DEVELOPMENT: CHINA’S ONGOING SEARCH FOR ENERGY SECURITY
Kendrick, Mark R.
Looney, Robert E.
Glosny, Michael A.
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Over the last decade, China has taken significant steps to develop a renewable energy framework in an effort to lessen reliance on coal and its associated health and environmental impacts. This thesis will seek to explain China’s domestic and foreign energy-policy approach to dealing with the challenges of maintaining a consistent, stable supply of fuel for its growing economy. This thesis will also examine the implications of China’s policy changes for the United States with regard to potential security challenges as well as future cooperation opportunities. China’s energy framework over the coming decades is based on three key components. The first is development of new renewable energy generation and transmission capacity. The second is increased natural gas usage. Rather than wait for renewable energy sources to fully replace coal generation, China is turning to natural gas as a stop-gap measure in the short-term to rapidly reduce coal usage and fill some of the generation capacity that renewable sources are as yet unable to. The third component is China’s pursuit of new and varied sources of oil as demand continues to grow. Structured as a myriad of bilateral agreements with oil-producing nations, China is conducting energy diplomacy throughout the Middle East and Africa. These three components of a comprehensive energy policy show the path that China is on to achieve its 2030 clean energy goals and become the world leader in clean energy technology.
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