China Now World's Top Energy Consumer, Displacing U.S.


China is now the world's largest energy consumer, displacing the U.S., which had been the biggest consumer for over 100 years.

According to data from the International Energy Agency, China used the equivalent of 2,252 million tons of oil last year, The Wall Street Journal reported. That figure, which is an oil equivalent for all forms of energy consumed, is 4% higher than the amount used by the U.S. in 2009.

"The fact that China overtook the U.S. as the world's largest energy consumer symbolizes the start of a new age in the history of energy," IEA chief economist Fatih Birol told The Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. had been the largest overall energy consumer since the early 1900s, Birol said.