Top coal-fired power generating countries

Coal continues to be a major source of electricity generation in many countries in the world, despite a rapid rise in renewable energy in recent decades. According to the International Energy Agency, coal-fired power generation continues to be the largest source of the world’s electricity production, accounting for about 37% share. According to BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018 report, the total coal power generation capacity of the world was 9,723TWh in 2017. Overall, the world’s electricity production stood at 25,551TWh. Here is the list of countries having biggest coal-fired power generating capacities:


Producing 4,360.9TWh of power from coal-fired facilities, China occupies the first place in the list. The country is home to some of the biggest coal-fired power plants in the world. China’s major coal-fired power plants include the 6.7GW Datang Tuoketuo power station, the 5.1GW Waigaoqiao Power Station and the 5GW Guodian Beilun Power Station. Located in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, the Datang Tuoketuo power station is considered as the world’s biggest coal power plant. Besides, China hosts some of the world’s biggest coal mines. Haerwusu and Hei Dai coal mines are estimated to contain combined recoverable coal reserves of over 3.2 billion tonnes.


The US continues to generate a significant amount of its electricity from coal. In 2017, the North American country produced 1,314TWh of electricity from coal-fired power plants. Coal power facilities contribute to about 30% of the country’s total electricity production. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, coal is the second largest source of power production in the US, after natural gas. Major coal power plants in the country include the 3.6GW Robert W Scherer Power Plant, 3.3GW Monroe Power Plant, and the 3.37GW Plant Bowen. The country is also home to North Antelope Rochelle, the world’s biggest coal mine. The mine has nearly 1.9 billion tons of provable and probable reserves.


With an electricity production of 1,141.4TWh in 2017 from coal-fired power plants, India stands at third spot in the list. Despite its recent push to increase its renewable energy capacity, the country continues to generate a more than 60% of its total electricity from coal. Some of the major coal power plants in the country include the 4.7GW Vindhyachal Thermal Power Station, the 4.6GW Mundra Thermal Power Station, the 4GW Mundra Ultra Mega Power Plant and the 3GW Talcher Super Thermal Power Station.


With production of 342.5TWh in 2017, Japan stand as fourth spot in the list of top coal-fired power generating countries. In fiscal year 2016, coal-fired plants accounted for 32.3% of the country’s total electricity production. As of March 2018, Japan had nearly 90 coal power plants, according to a report by The Japan Times. The domestic companies were also planning to add 30 new coal power plants. Major coal power plants in the country include the 4.1GW Hekinan coal power plant, the 1.8GW Maizuru power station, the 1.6GW Tomato-atsuma power station and the 1.4GW Reihoku power station.

South Korea

As home to the some of the world’s biggest coal power plants, South Korea is one of the leading producers of coal-fired power. The country generated 264.4TWh of electricity from coal power plants in 2017. The 6.1GW Taean power station, which is considered as the second world’s biggest coal power plants, is located in Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea. The Taean power station supplies electricity primarily to the South Korean capital and surrounding regions. Other major coal power plants in the country include the 6GW Dangjin Thermal Power Plant and the 5.08GW Yeongheung power station. The Dangjin Thermal Power Plant initially consisted of eight 500MW units. In 2016, its capacity was expanded with the addition of two 1,020MW units.