WRI: Average Coal-Fired Power Plant Fleet Efficiency in China and the U.S.

Improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon intensity in the power sector have been major goals for the Chinese government. This trend contrasts with the United States, where new coal-fired power plants built in the 1980s and 1990s were actually less efficient than those built in the 1970s. While China is still increasing its overall electricity output at a rapid rate - slightly more than one power plant per week - new power plants both add to capacity and replace less efficient, smaller power plants and direct (and very dirty) coal-burning at industrial sites.

From Seligsohn, Heilmayr, Tan, and Weischer (2009) “China, the United States and the Climate Change Challenge.” WRI Policy Brief, available at: http://www.wri.org/publication/china-united-states-climate-change-challenge