The largest power plant in the world by capacity (power) is the Three Gorges Dam in China. It has a total capacity of 20,000 MW or 20 GW. Four (4) of
the five (5) largest power plants in the world are hydroelectric power plants. The sole non-hydroelectric power plant in the top five (5) is a nuclear
Here is a link on wikipedia that shows the largest power plants in the world based on power capacity:
Name - Country - Capacity - Type
1 Three Gorges Dam - China - 20,300 MW - Hydroelectricity
2 Itaipu Dam - Brazil & Paraguay - 14,000 MW - Hydroelectricity
3 Guri Dam - Venezuela - 10,235 MW - Hydroelectricity
4 Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant - Japan - 8,212 MW - Nuclear
5 Tucurui Dam - Brazil - 8,125 MW - Hydroelectricity
6 Bruce Nuclear Generating Station - Canada - 7,276 MW - Nuclear
7 Grand Coulee Dam - United States - 6,809 MW - Hydroelectricity
8 Longtan Dam - China 6,426 MW - Hydroelectricity
9 Uljin Nuclear Power Plant - South Korea - 6,157 MW - Nuclear
10= Krasnoyarsk Dam - Russia - 6,000 MW - Hydroelectricity
10= Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant - Ukraine - 6,000 MW - Nuclear
As you can see 7 of the 10 largest (actually 11 due to a tie at # 10) are hydroelectric. The rest are nuclear. There is a limit - based on topographic
relief and available water flow - to the number of hydroelectric power plants which can be built which supply a significant amount of power
(capacity). A further look at the wikipedia link reveals that renewable resources like wind and solar have very small power capacities when compared
to coal and nuclear.
Type - Capacity (world's largest)
Hydroelectric - 20,300 MW
Nuclear - 8,212 MW
Coal - 5,780 MW
Natural Gas - 5,040 MW
Wind - 782 MW
Geothermal - 233 MW
Solar - 150 MW
The other day, the Houston Chronicle reported that Arizona had announced construction on a 250 MW Solar power plant. Anyone still believe that
renewable resources are the wave of the future?
Only coal and nuclear power plants are capable of substituting the energy demands of oil. There is an aversion to coal because it is "dirty" and
there is an aversion to nuclear because it is "dangerous". However, that does not change the fact that these two sources of energy supply very large
and very abundant sources of energy.
The following data on Texas' power capacity was taken from the Energy Information Agency's website - www.eia.gov...
Let's look at it this way. My home state of Texas (a large industrious state) in 2009 produced about 400,000,000 MWh of electricty. The net summer
capacity (power) for that year was about 103,000 MW. Here is what is would take to meet the summer capacity in Texas.
It would take this number of the world's largest type of power plant to equal Texas' summer power capacity:
Hydroelectric - 5
Nuclear - 12
Coal - 18
Gas - 20
Wind - 132
Geo Thermal - 442
Solar - 686
Get the picture?