Chinese Energy Consumption Surges Forward

China is now the largest energy user in the world, the International Energy Agency announced this week. The country consumed 2.252 billion tons of “oil equivalent” last year. The US – formerly the largest – managed to burn just 2.17 billion tons.

So it goes… Another inevitable milestone of Asian growth and Western decline. Like most facets of this takeover, the changing of the guard has been swift:

US vs. Chinese Energy Consumption

Yet here is one of the most convincing charts we’ve ever seen…a riff off one Frank Holmes – another Symposium speaker – has been toting around for years:

Per Capita US vs. Chinese Energy Consumption

“40% of the world’s population – China and India – uses two barrels of oil per person per day,” Frank Holmes beamed in his presentation yesterday. “In the US, we use 25.”

If you’ll allow us to paraphrase Frank, that appears to be one of the few slam-dunk investment theses of this generation. China and India need only become half the energy consumers we are in the US and explosive gains would follow…if you own the right stocks.

Ian Mathias
for The Daily Reckoning