Here's a case in point. I subscribe to Energy and Capital. They tend to move their stories in the direction of whichever portfolio they're hyping, but they do have very fresh and important news. I got this earlier today and I thought, "Here's an opportunity to show shoeless what I'm talking about."
Why You Can Still Profit from China's Coal Crisis
By Sam Hopkins | Thursday, April 24th, 2008
How much energy do you need to make it through a couple of weeks?
After you're done figuring in the work commute, taking the kids wherever they need to go, and assuming you like to see what you're doing at night, the average U.S. household goes through about 350 kilowatt-hours in 14 days.
This spring, Chinese consumers are frantically tallying their own fortnightly consumption, because the national coal stockpile has shrunk to only enough for 15 days.
And that's the best-case scenario according to some in the Middle Kingdom, where coal is the only royalty left.
Vice President of the national electricity regulator, Wang Yeping, and the head of China Power Investment Corporation, Liu Shuo, both told media that the real reserve number may be down to a mere 7 days.
One week of the primary energy source for an economy growing steadily in double-digits per year!
Now tell me we're not in an energy crisis.
China's Coal Crisis Persists
The United States Department of Energy says that coal consumption is expected to increase by 74% from 2004 to 2030, with coal jumping by 44% in about the same time span.
Contrary to popular belief, the world isn't trending away from coal consumption as we undergo a clean energy epiphany.
The DOE reference case has coal use increasing as a percentage of total energy consumption, up to 28% in 2030 from 26% today.
China plays a large part in that rise, it being in the process of constructing more than 500 coal-fired power plants to fuel greater demand for electricity in private and public applications.
After all, it's not just new skyscrapers and their microwave-happy denizens chugging juice—it's streetlights and Olympic sites too.
Plus, hundreds of millions of rural Chinese have yet to gain their first grid access, meaning the strain will increase.
If what this story says is even remotely true, China is already behind the eight ball. They won't go short on their energy needs, trust me. Their economy is booming, has been booming for over ten years, and they are not about to slow the gravy train down over energy consumption. Plus, the Olympics are just around the corner and for the first time in modern history China will be hosting a worldwide event. I don't know if you saw the clips a while back, but spitting on the ground in China, which has been commonplace everywhere up to now, is now against the law.
This means only one thing. China will be hitting the world market and paying top dollar to replenish their coal needs. If you have stock in coal anywhere, nows the time to up it big time. It's very likely that coal will soon replace oil as the larger jump in prices year over year.
We could go over other aspects about either subject matter here, coal shortages or China's growing need, but this illustrates what I look at as far as key events are concerned.
One more small trivia for you. In China parents are allowed to have only one child. This has been going on for decades now. To top it off, there is a strict bias against female offspring and in favor of males offspring. Decades of trending in that direciton. Well, China is now finding itself with a surplus of males. MILLIONS MORE. This happened once before in their history. One of the smaller privinces had about 800,000 more males than females. With that much untapped testosterone building up inside, these condemned bachelors starting raiding other provinces killing the men and raping and stealing the women. This is like a smoldering volcano that could erupt at any moment.
Anyway, there you have another subject matter I'm following intently.