China's Economic Engine Needs Power (Lots of It)

The key question: How and where will China get the energy it needs to maintain its economic growth? And how much will the environment suffer for it?

Published: 15-Mar-2004

BEIJING — For all the hoopla about China's booming economy, its manufacturing muscle and its potential to become a great power, the world's most populous country is struggling to keep the lights on. And the sporadic blackouts that plagued much of China last year are raising complicated questions for the Communist Party and for the rest of the world:

How and where will China get the energy it needs to maintain its economic growth? And how much will the environment suffer for it?

"It's one of the hottest issues facing the international energy industry," said Scott Roberts, chief representative in the Beijing office of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, a consulting firm based in Massachusetts. "The growth has been explosive, and I think it has caught many people in China and elsewhere off guard."

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