In September 2020, Barron stated, “China has become the center of gravity for global energy markets.” Barron was unaware that global energy markets, energy trade flows, and geopolitics, as we know them now, would be completely rewritten in the coming years.
The extended effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian war in Ukraine, which fueled an energy war between Russia and Europe, have changed the rules of energy, accelerated the decarbonization movement, cast doubt on free trade, and highlighted the vulnerabilities of global supply chains since 2020.
Rise in Chinese Energy Arena
Under the weight of its own zero-Covid policy, China has suffered greatly and faces years of economic recovery. However, the singular vision and momentum of China’s global energy growth could not be disrupted by any of these unanticipated disruptions.
China under Xi Jinping has continued to expand its presence in global energy markets and strengthen its sphere of influence in emerging economies despite the chaos. It is not an adversarial takeover. China has simply outspent and out negotiated every other nation on the planet, for better or worse and likely even worse in the future.
A recent Bloomberg NEF analysis reveals that China alone accounted for nearly half of global spending on renewable energy last year, totaling a staggering $546 billion. That is 2.5 times more than the $180 billion spent by the European Union and nearly four times more than the $141 billion spent by the United States.
The latest in a series of Chinese acquisitions in Peru, the deal is still awaiting regulatory approval. The Peruvian National Society of Industries, a chamber of private businesses, said, “If approved, it would result in a concentration of 100% of Lima’s electricity distribution market in the hands of the People’s Republic of China.”