Oil guzzlers and misers

Oil guzzlers and misers

India’s energy appetite from 2003 to 2020 will be modest compared with most other countries, says the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI). Total global energy demand will grow from 422 quadrillion British thermal units (qBtu) to 610 qBtu.

China will account for 32% of this extra energy demand, which is not surprising given its booming economy. But India, despite its own economic boom, will account for a mere 4% of the extra energy demand. Why? MGI believes that consumers will move from inefficient biomass to electricity as the country urbanises. Price plays a part as well.

A Wall Street Journal article reprinted by this newspaper yesterday showed how Iran, a country blessed with oil and gas, is rationing fuel. Iran holds the domestic price of oil at very low levels, thus encouraging wastage.

That could be one reason why MGI says the Arab countries will account for 11% of the increase in global energy demand till 2020, more than India’s share.