Here comes Asia

The numbers are staggering. By 2030, fast-growing Asian nations will account for more than half of the world’s electricity demand, up from 35 percent today, said Zin Smati, president and CEO of Suez Energy North America in a speech Thursday.
“It’s remarkable the growth we’re going to witness in Asia,” Smati said at CERA Week, an industry conference in Houston, during a panel discussion that explored the so-called “Asia Phoenix” scenario.
The scenario predicts that explosive economic growth in countries such as China and India will soon tilt the balance of global energy supply and demand from Western nations to Asia.
Another byproduct of the shift: The majority of the new power generation plants being built in Asia will be fueld by coal, rather than cleaner-burning natural gas, a trend that could greatly boost carbon dioxide emissions in coming years, Smati said.
At the same time, the U.S. will be propelled by environmetal policy and growing energy needs to increase natural gas imports, he said.
Within two to three years, Smati predicted, the U.S. will overtake Japan as the world’s largest importer of liquefied natural gas, which will arrive at huge — and often controversial — storage terminals that are now under construction around the country.