Megawhat? How The World’s Energy and Electricity is Generated

How is the world’s energy and electricity generated? What is the world’s largest power station? How does solar power compare to wind energy, geothermal energy or hydropower? How much of the world’s power comes from renewable energy sources?

Understanding humankind’s energy systems isn’t easy but it’s an important step to working out how to get to carbon zero by 2050.

We’ve ranked the world’s biggest and most notable power plants – from Fukushima to the Three Gorges Dam – with a single metric – daily megawatt hours, which represents the amount of energy any given power source generates each day.

» See the data

Interactive Calculator

The interactive calculator below is a megawatt (MW) calculator. Most press reports quote energy output as megawatts rather than the more comparative daily megawatt hour (used in our chart). Use it to contextualise any MW amounts you see, or convert abstract numbers into people.