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Nowhere has rapid energy growth been more conspicuous than in the world’s most populated country, China.
Between 2008 and 2035, China may triple its electricity demand, adding power plant capacity equal to the current U.S. In 2008, China generated another 19 percent of its energy from oil, which it imported from all over the world, more than half came collectively from Saudi Arabia, Angola, Iran, Oman, Russia, and Sudan. China is in hot pursuit of securing as much oil as possible, as the nation’s reliance on imported oil is growing far more rapidly than its oil production. Only a small proportion of China’s energy comes natural gas, produced domestically and imported in liquified form, but that may change as prices lower and liquified natural gas terminals are constructed. China is the world’s biggest user of hydroelectric power, which made up 6 percent of energy and 16 percent of electricity in 2009.
India produces oil domestically, but like China, the rate of India’s increasing oil consumption far outstrips its production. India doesn’t have the electricity capacity to serve its population but aims to add many thousands of megawatts in the near future. Like China, India has nuclear power, with 14 nuclear plants in operation and another 10 in planning, the reactors purchased from France and Russia.
Until China recently outpaced it, the United States was the biggest energy consumer in the world, though per capita use isn’t the highest but in the same range as several developed countries worldwide and less than the per capita use in Canada. Indonesia’s energy demand is growing rapidly, split between coal, natural gas, and petroleum sources. Tropical Brazil is the largest country in South America both in area and population, and it is the third largest user of energy in the Americas, after the United States and Canada. Brazil produces almost as much petroleum as Venezuela and produces slightly more fuel than it consumes. While Brazil depends on oil for other energy applications like transportation, the country gets an astounding 84 percent of electricity from hydroelectric dams. Pakistan has limited access to electricity and energy sources, and its rural population still relies on gathered fuels like wood for heating and cooking. In 2009 around 60 percent of the population had access to electricity, far better than its neighbor Afghanistan, at just 15 percent.
Meanwhile, several proposals for gas pipelines through Pakistan have yet to get solidified, including one from Iran to Afghanistan (which is opposed by the United States). Like nearby Pakistan and India, with which it shares cultural and political histories, Bangladesh also suffers from electricity shortages.
Most of the electricity in this delta nation is generated from natural gas, with smaller amounts each from oil, coal, and hydroelectric sources. In 2011, Bangladesh signed a contract with oil company ConocoPhillips, allowing off-shore drilling for natural gas, despite internal protests that insisted Bangladesh should keep more of the gas for its own. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country, and it is world famous for its oil, most of which is exported for sale by huge foreign oil companies like Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Petrobras, and Statoil. Even though Nigeria is fossil fuel-rich, only 47 percent of the population have access to electricity, and less than a fifth of energy in that country came from petroleum and natural gas in 2007, reflecting the widespread use of more traditional fuels like wood. Russia has significant wealth in fossil fuels, including the largest natural gas reserves and the second largest coal reserves, after the United States. The country has a well-developed pipeline system to transport oil from remote regions, a system which is almost entirely controlled by a single state-run company, Transneft. Russia operates 31 nuclear reactors, half of which employ a similar design to the ill-fated Chernobyl plant in the Ukraine.
Japan doesn’t have significant fossil fuel resources, one reason that much of its electricity industry relies on nuclear power. Japan is the world’s third larger oil consumer, and it does produce some oil domestically. Japan also invests heavily in foreign oil, including in the United Arab Emirates, the Congo, Algeria, Russia, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Brazil, Canada, the United Kingdom, Vietnam, and Indonesia, to name a few.

As of June 2011, Japan is still recovering from a massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated its northeast coast on March 11, 2011, forcing the shutdown of several nuclear reactors as well as damaging refineries, oil and gas generators, and electricity transmission infrastructure. Japan imports most of its oil from the Middle East: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar together supplied 77 percent of imports in 2009.
The overall picture put forth by this study is more complex than looking at which countries are running their household taps dry, a point made clear by the tremendous water footprint of agriculture. While meat production accounted for 22 percent of consumption, that's likely a lowball estimate. People who live without the energy infrastructure of electricity depend on portable petroleum fuels, manure and methane gas produced from manure, wood, grass, and agricultural wastes. Countries are expanding energy investment to non-fossil sources like biofuels, wind, solar, and geothermal. South Asians seemed better off than Africans that year, at 62 percent, but the real story is much more diverse. China used to export its oil, but by 2009 automobile investment was expanded by so much, the country became the second largest oil importer (United States is first).
Several powerful, national oil companies provide the domestic oil, both from on and off-shore sources.
However, India doesn’t have enough electricity for everyone, and only 65 percent of the population has access to electricity. A 2004-2005 survey by the government found more than 40 percent of rural Indians used kerosene instead of electricity for home lighting.
India therefore has to import oil; in 2009 its most significant sources were Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Angola, and Venezuela, in descending order. The United States relies on petroleum, coal, and natural gas, as well as a small part nuclear, hydroelectric, and various non-fossil sources.
Traditional sources of energy like wood and agricultural waste continue to be used, particularly in rural areas and remote islands, and the International Energy Administration estimates these fuels provide about a quarter of the country’s energy.
In the past, the country also exported more oil than it used, but as of 2004 that balance changed.
Nonetheless, even with access, most of the population can’t rely on electricity unless they are wealthy enough to own generators. That summer, Pakistan has nowhere near enough electricity for its peak needs, which were roughly 25 percent more than its total production capacity. Only 41 percent of Bangladeshis had access to electricity in 2009, according to the International Energy Administration.
More than 30 percent of the country’s energy comes from biomass, agricultural wastes, and other combustible, renewable materials. Roughly 65 percent of government revenue comes from the oil sector, and around 40 percent its oil exports are sent to the United States.
However, it also imports a lot of oil and natural gas, the later in the form of liquified natural gas, or LNG. Science News explains more:A worldwide trend toward eating more animal products and processed foods could increase demands for water. Because these sources of energy are informal, it’s difficult to track and include them in statistics.
At the same time, they are competing to secure access to coal, natural gas, and petroleum both at home and abroad. Until 2009, the United States lead the world in total energy consumption, though not per person consumption, for decades.
Nearly 100 percent of Chinese had access to electricity, while in Burma, only 13 percent had access. China is also the world’s biggest coal producer but only third, behind the United States and Russia, in coal reserves.
Furthermore, China has purchased oil assets in the Middle East, Canada, and Latin America, and it also conducts oil-for-loan exchanges with other countries, $90 billion worth since 2009, according to the U.S.

The Unites States has significant oil, coal, and natural gas reserves, as well as the potential for significant investment in solar, off and on-shore wind, and biofuels.
By 2009, the country suspended its membership in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) because it was using so much of its own oil.
Pakistan suffers from lengthy blackouts, even in its cities, in part because of poor transmission infrastructure and widespread electricity theft. The widespread blackouts crippled the country’s textile industry, its biggest source of exports, and some reports suggest that hundreds of factories were shuttered as a result of sporadic power.
Much of Nigeria’s natural gas is flared rather than being collected and sold for fuel.
In 2009, Russia exported far more oil than it used, and 81 percent of its exports went to Europe, notably the Netherlands and Germany. Almost half of its energy came from imported oil in 2009, and just 16 percent of Japanese energy came from a domestic source. Many nations are water-poor, and they, in essence, outsource their consumption by importing water-intensive commodities, such as grain or electronics, that are produced elsewhere, Hoekstra says. However, India is not well endowed with conventional energy resources like oil gas or uranium.Coal is abundant but regionally concentrated and of low calorie and high ash content, it said. Worldwide almost 78 percent of people had access to electricity in 2009, according to the International Energy Agency.
However, China’s government predicts it will have seven times its current nuclear capacity by 2020.
The situation is also aggravated by lack of capacity planning, insufficient fuel, and irregularities in water supply for hydroelectric. Flaring involves burning off naturally-occurring gases during petroleum drilling and refining, resulting in  environmental degradation, greenhouse gas emissions and loss of revenue. Improving the efficiency of irrigation, for example, will allow enhanced use of surface water derived from precipitation and reduce dependence on unsustainable withdrawals of groundwater.
Each cubic meter of water that’s drawn from surface sources, which are generally renewable, is a cubic meter that doesn’t have to be pumped from aquifers.
Among renewable energy sources,bio-energy or biomass based power generation was a huge area of exploration, as there was a huge amount of biomass potential in India. Such underground sources of water typically aren’t considered renewable at timescales relevant for humans, he notes.Another way to shrink our water footprint is to change our eating habits, Postel says.
In particular, people can opt to eat less meat or to switch from grain-fed beef—which, again, requires about 5300 liters of water for each dollar’s worth of grain fed to a cow—to grass-fed beef, which typically requires only the rainwater falling on a pasture.It's important to note, however, that while grass-fed beef may be better than grain-fed, it can't stand up to the choice of not eating either. Among biomass resources, the tree-based Dendro power generation is far superior due to high Gross Calorific Value and high combustibility, it said.
Grist made this point well a couple weeks ago:Eating truly sustainable meat, in modest quantities, is a fine thing. But it’s not better than eating no meat — certainly not when we’ve got more than 7 billion people on a fast-heating planet competing to feed themselves via shrinking, oversubscribed cropland and increasingly limited, degraded freshwater supplies. In Tamil Nadu alone there are 13-15 biomass power plants, with an installed capacity of 120 to 160 MW, as against the potential of 480 MW. Biomass power generation plants face severe constraints as the power is found to be costliest of all renewable energy due to non-availability of quality raw material, lack of site specific tree cultivation models, unorganised supply chain and lack of cooperation among stake holders, the release said. The workshop will discuss and deliberate various aspects and generate viable ideas to salvage biomass power generation, the release added.

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