Top 11 countries with coal fired power plants

In MW capacity

  1. China - 1,136,731
  2. India - 237,134
  3. USA - 200,090
  4. Japan - 55,123
  5. Indonesia - 51,557
  6. S. Africa - 43,624
  7. Germany - 40,326
  8. S. Korea - 40,134
  9. Russia - 37,857
  10. Poland - 28,510
  11. Vietnam - 27,239
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Per-capita would be much more interesting.

The Captain


Or as a percentage of total electricity generated, since countries vary widely on the total amount.



Also, actual generation in GWh is more important than GW of installed capacity. How many miles you put on your car is usually more important than how high the speedometer scale on the dashboard goes.

Still, even just looking at capacity, we can see that China burns far more coal than any other country. India surpassed the US several years ago, and the gap continues to widen.

  • Pete

China has the problem that it has coal. All its other energy sources are imported. But emphasis on solar and wind seems to indicate they are addressing the issue. Too slowly no doubt for environmentalists.

Clearly China has used long range planning to study the matter and decided on a course of action–to dominate key technologies with low cost labor. They have lots of manpower and have invested heavily in efficient infrastructure.

Their “planned economy” coupled with a long range strategy clearly gives them advantages. Our guys seem still learning to tie their shoelaces.


Don’t forget China also has large hydro electric facilities.

In 2023, China’s total installed electric generation capacity is 2.92 TW, with 1.26 TW of that being renewable. This includes:

  • 16% hydroelectric
  • 15% solar
  • 14% wind

China is not shy about getting ahead of the US.

The US has a serious problem making up its mind to act. Too many idiotic arguments as if that is know-how. It is not a matter of all being on the same page but when a dumb argument comes up that holds back the nation well stupid is stupid. Dressing that up in GWh or GW etc or hoping for fossil fuels or praying for nukes does not change holding back our nation.

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I think we recognize that a totalitarian government with good planning can make decisions faster and move faster. But often can do that only with a handful of decisions. Others get lost in the shuffle and never get attention.

Our system is much less efficient. We attempt to listen to all players and work out compromises that satisfy most. But its time consuming.

Private interests have lots of potential to pursue the opportunities that come to their attention. This allows quicker response in those areas. But where govt support is required or permits are required it can get complicated.

We should respect China for what they have been able to accomplish. And hope they continue to compete economically rather by military action.

That is not it by a long shot. The Chinese have more nukes and coal coming on line.

The issue is whether we want to have a deflationary energy policy or pay more for oil, gas, and nuclear. That takes no brains. But it means if you are invested you are full of it. I mean entirely full of it.

No, that’s not enough. If they want respect, they’ll have to earn it by competing economically, and without offensive military action, AND without repression of the people.

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China? What China?

There is no respect for Xi.

Besides China is endlessly slipping away.

China is the world’s largest exporter of goods, with a total export value of $3.71 trillion in 2022. China has been the world’s largest exporter since 2009.

Exports measured in US dollar terms stood at $3.38 trillion in 2023, down by 4.6% compared to the year before. In 2022, Chinese exports increased by 7% from the year earlier.Jan 12, 2024

China’s slide into deflation is proving hard to fix. Prices in the world’s second-biggest economy have fallen for three consecutive quarters, the longest deflationary streak since the Asian Financial Crisis in the late 1990s.5 days ago


The monthly U.S. trade deficit in goods and services edged up 0.5 percent in December as imports and exports both increased. For all of 2023 the total U.S. trade deficit was down 18.7 percent, with exports up 1.2 percent and imports down 3.6 percent.12 hours ago

My comment, thanks to demand-side economics.

Americans would need to take major pay cuts to go back to supply-side economics.

And then there are policies like their family planning…

How China Miscalculated Its Way to a Baby Bust
China’s baby bust is happening faster than many expected, raising fears of a demographic collapse. And coping with the fallout may now be complicated by miscalculations made more than 40 years ago.

The rapid shift under way today wasn’t projected by the architects of China’s one-child policy—one of the biggest social experiments in history, instituted in 1980. At the time, governments around the world feared overpopulation would hold back economic growth. A Moscow-trained missile scientist led the push for China’s policy, based on tables of calculations that applied mathematical models used to calculate rocket trajectories to population growth.

Four decades later, China is aging much earlier in its development than other major economies did. The shift to fewer births and more elderly citizens threatens to hold back economic growth. In a generation that grew up without siblings, young women are increasingly reluctant to have children—and there are fewer of them every year. Beijing is at a loss to change the mindset brought about by the policy.


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For years people worried that China would starve as population grew faster than food supply. Malthus in the real world.

One child policy was a bold solution to the problem. Now the implications become clear. They kept it too long. But made much progress.

Regardless someone always complains.

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