There needs to be an assurance that adequate and reliable energy sources are there.

China is home to the largest population in the world. Over 1.3 billion people live there. For comparison, only 328 million people reside in the United States and only 66 million people call the United Kingdom home. Those two countries combined are less than half of China’s population. Large amounts of population mean large amounts of energy consumption. In order to meet that energy consumption, there needs to be resources. Although the United States leads energy consumption on a “per capita” basis, China and their 1.3 billion people leads in terms of total energy consumption. Providing the resources in order to maintain that large of a population is extremely challenging, and it doesn’t help when that same country is home to many, many different factories that make the goods we all buy on a daily basis. In order to keep up with the demand at hand, China began to import resources such as coal, oil, and natural gas. The country has also begun to research, develop, and implement renewable energy sources in order to ease the burden of energy. Something else they have become very concerned about is that of energy security. What exactly is “energy security?” The International Energy Agency (IEA) defines this as “the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price.” This concern seemed to start in the 1990s, when both ecological and economic dimensions gradually cemented their presence in China’s energy security and supply. Joseph J. Room suggested that the goal of energy security could only be achieved by boosting economic competition and decreasing environmental deterioration. There needs to be an assurance that adequate and reliable energy sources are there. Because of this suggestion, and the severity of the impact that China has felt from climate change, the country has begun to protect the environment. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol helped move things along, as it greatly promoted the utilization of clean energy sources and the regulation of energy sources. Along those line, China also passed their first Renewable Energy Law in 2005. The continued importation of fossil fuels, and a dependence on said fossil fuels, has put China in a tough spot. As we have seen with the renewable energy laws, China is working towards being as close to 100% self-sufficient, in terms of energy, as possible. Because of this, China has become a worldwide leader in renewable energy research and development. Working with and depending on renewable energy sources, with little dependency on fossil fuels, leads to an increased amount of sustainability and energy security. If China wants to have a good sense of energy security, it appears as if renewable energy sources are the way to go. Overall, China is looking to improve on their energy infrastructure and their future. Sustainable energy and energy security go hand in hand. When working on one, it is easy to see that the other is right beside of you. Another positive side effect of striving for energy security is energy diversification. Incorporating a mixture of many different energy sources is great for both sustainability and energy security. Although they are in a tough spot, China is doing everything they can in order to help themselves.