Electricity Shmectricity: what are the differences between China’s and America’s grids? Why does it matter to both peoples? Nine graphs and charts help tell the story…




Pictured above: electricity generation growth over the last 25 years- China’s is 6,000%. USA is 0%.

Sixteen years on the streets, living and working with the people of China, Jeff








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Note before starting: this post was inspired by a US friend who has a solar installation business. I sent him a couple of the charts below, a referenced article or two, and decided to dive into the subject deeper, adding to what I already knew about being a State Grid customer for 16 years in China.

Any citizens who are nonchalant enough or gullible enough or stupid enough to watch their commonwealth be sold to private sector rapists deserve their abysmal fate. With the neoliberal-neocons finally able to walk through the front door of the White House starting in the early 1980s, and in Europe, starting with the European Treaty (ET, aka Lisbon Treaty) in 2009, the fate of the quality of life for Westerners is dire indeed.

Now, all over the West, water has been privatized, electricity has been privatized. Gas companies have been privatized. Toll roads have been privatized. Airports have been privatized. Ports have been privatized. Hospitals, research centers, universities, colleges, the list goes on and on. As a result of the 99% letting their commonwealth be sold off to cronies and crooks, the West and its citizens are going to hell in a handbasket.

A case in point is electricity. In this graph below, you can see that electricity production in the United States has been flat since the 1970s, whereas in China, which has the world’s largest (people owned) electricity utility, State Grid, the production of electricity is increasing at exponential rates. It’s eye-watering compared to the USA.

Pictured above: electricity generation growth over the last 25 years- China’s is 6,000%. USA is 0%.

The correlation between electricity generation and manufacturing capacity is very high. With zero electricity generation growth in the last 25 years, this explains why the USA is building as many cars in 2024 as it did in 1970.

China is just the opposite. Power consumption rose by 6.7% in 2023, marking the fourth straight year that electricity use grew faster than GDP. And China is well on its way to becoming the most electrified economy in the world (https://twitter.com/Gavekal/status/1777310502781100054?s=09).

Pictured above: electricity = energy = manufacturing = prosperity = jobs = innovation = infrastructure.

It is not just traditional manufacturing that needs terawatts of juice. The 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) is alive and well in China, but it’s already checkmate for the West. While less of problem in Europe, America’s adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is moribund. Why? Not because of a lack of consumer demand, but it does not have the generation capacity to service EVs, because private sector utilities won’t invest. Even if they expanded electricity capacity, they are not going to spend billions of dollars for the needed thousands of kilometers of high-voltage power lines to distribute the energy. Generation plus power lines makes the grid.

It gets even worse. 4IR is not just EVs, but 5G/6G, AI, cloud computing and data storage. America is already way behind China in 5G and the latter is already laying out 6G. China is already a global leader for cloud computing and data storage, and everyone says that in two years, it will catch up to and surpass the US in AI. For the USA, this headline says it all,

Amid explosive demand, America is running out of power (https://www.worldenergydata.org/amid-explosive-demand-america-is-running-out-of-power/).

Public utilities have the money to invest for the betterment of the people, economy and society. Private utilities won’t spend a penny until they have to.

No one can say Americans have not been warned. The graffiti has been sprayed on the wall for a generation. In the United States from 2000 to 2022, there were 1,500 extreme cases of weather power outages, up 64% from 2012 to 2022 (https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/14/us/power-outages-rising-extreme-weather-climate/index.html). CNN blamed it on,

Power outages in the US are climbing, researchers reported Wednesday, as extreme weather gets worse due to the climate crisis, the demand for electricity climbs and the country’s energy infrastructure gets older and more vulnerable.

Well, why is it old and vulnerable? Because the United States and to a lesser extent Europe, are not rebuilding and modernizing their electric grids. This chart and map tell the story for the USA (https://twitter.com/PDChina/status/1780964248711057699?t=8xU6uksAY0PdDC9wwQhvVA&s=09),

It’s not because of bad weather or increasing demand. It’s because utilities have been privatized, they do not want to invest in infrastructure, because electricity generation and transmission cost billions to build.

Another good example is Russia, which is #4 in generation, after China, USA, and India. The people own 52% of electricity generation and 70% of its distribution via the government, firmly giving them controlling interest. Russia is twice as big as the United States. It has vast territories spanning Siberia, where they have to run high tension electric power lines across no man’s land in subzero tundra.

In order to make sure that the people across in entire country can be assured of having electricity, they run three high tension lines, where only one is normally needed. They space them 50 to 100 km apart, so that if there’s a storm on Line One, then they can transfer the transmission to Line Two or Line Three to arrive to that particular city or region. That is what public utilities do. Private Western utilities would never do something like that.

In the West, thousands of people freeze to death every year, because of blackouts or they can’t afford to heat their houses. I saw headlines this last winter that 30% of British could not afford to turn on the heat. Here in France, we have friends who are in the same igloo. They live and eat at home in parkas, gloves and hats. For private utilities, customers freezing (to death) is just collateral damage, to make sure the CEOs, officers and board directors rake in stock options on unlisted A-shares.

The case for France is sad, ridiculous and living here is a costly and bitter experience. Electricity prices have been going up and up and up every year since 2009 through 2023, faster than inflation. Now, in 2024 we have already had a 10% rate rise in February and another 10% rate rise will happen in July. This is because France allowed its public utilities (water, gas, electricity, sewage) to be privatized starting in 2009,

Pictured above: read it and weep for Europeans, trying to crush Russia since its Special Military Operation in Ukraine, letting Uncle Slaughter blow up Nord Stream 2 and buying overpriced American liquified natural gas instead.

Why? Everything in Europe must be privatized and the 2009 European Treaty (ET), which clearly states that there can be no government intervention in “the markets”. This is a bad joke, since governments everywhere are involved in policy and laws affecting commerce. What neo-liberals want is lots of government interference that enriches the trillionaire global capitalist dictatorship, while impoverishing the 99%. That is all.

After World War II, France developed the world’s most successful national atomic energy grid, state-owned and managed by one of the world’s best-run utilities, Électricité de France (EDF). Thanks to the ET, France now has 26 of its 56 nuclear power plants out of commission, since neo-liberal austerity measures (raise taxes on the 99% and slashing social services to pay interest on the private banksters’ ginned up, ever-growing national debt) are forcing society and economy-destroying cuts across the board.

State-owned EDF had to sell 49% of its power grid to these same-said trillionaire dictators, who will force more cuts to infrastructure and services, so as to pocket double digit returns and rake in insider stock options. Who suffers the skyrocketing energy bills and rolling blackouts, since EDF now has to make up for the deficit, by buying energy on the high-priced spot markets? We, the people.

State-owned EDF was also the global leader in the most advanced new-generation, super-efficient, low-waste, never-need-to-rebuild nuclear energy technology. Thanks to criminal capitalist austerity budget cuts, it was all tabled for fifty years. Who ran with it and is now the global leader in all this fabulous high-tech? Why, none other than Baba Beijing, cranking out these space age plants, to assure the Chinese people of cheap, abundant electricity into the 22nd century.

Isn’t capitalism just the bee’s knees?

Not only that, but the European Treaty forced EDF to sell off all its hydroelectric, wind and solar power grids, to well-connected rape-and-plunder investors, who will undoubtedly liquidate the assets and junk what is left, for maximum, short term profits. Not to mention, these vampires are also concocting behind-closed-doors, well-planned short sales of their newly minted common stock to the gullible public, to rake in even more billions, at the expense of the citizens. This, while making sure their internal, preferred shares only keep going up and up.

Isn’t capitalism just the cat’s pyjamas?

Thanks to the European Treaty, EDF has to sell its own electricity at a discount to wealthy, well-connected investors, who can then resell it at a profit. The result? Robber baron “free market” companies like Hydroption garnered 200 clients, including the City of Paris, the French army, government entities, many companies and local collectives, by undercutting EDF! Like all good capitalists, instead of serving his customers for their long-term benefit, the founder-owner of Hydroption, Michel de Kerever, bet all his EDF-bought electricity to sell short, whereas it massively increased in price. Overnight, Hydroption declared bankruptcy and France’s army, the City of Paris and all the other hundreds of customers were suddenly scrambling to keep the heating and lights turned on, by buying megawatts on the spot market, at ever higher costs (https://www.lefigaro.fr/entrepreneur/electricite-armee-etat-mairie-de-paris-et-industriels-plombes-par-la-faillite-d-hydroption-20211222).

Michel de Kerever surely wrote himself a cushy, golden parachute compensation exit package, will walk away free, rich and unpunished. Well-connected and with pockets full of fuck-you money, he will be back to plunder French citizens again and again. There are no consequences anymore in the West for white-collar criminals, just the next “opportunity”.

This, my friends, is the “logic and genius” of capitalism, and this is why the Chinese Nation is so incredibly successful, because it is 180 degrees opposed to neo-liberal, global capitalism. Scratch a Chinese citizen and they will tell you they agree with Mao Zedong’s geopolitical vision: global capitalism and Western imperialism are evil and to be defended against. Even Chinese who don’t like Mao admit this. They know that communism and socialism, when not destroyed by outside (Western) forces, works best for the 99% (https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2022/02/19/what-is-the-chinese-peoples-secret-ingredient-to-their-never-ending-success-its-staring-you-in-the-face-but-i-bet-you-cant-see-it-china-rising-radio-sinoland-220219/).

Thus, China is great example of why countries should never privatize their commonwealth, such as electricity. I have written on more than one occasion about how State Grid, the world’s largest electricity utility and 100% owned by the people, is also one of the best (https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2022/11/27/personal-stories-of-being-a-china-state-grid-customer-the-worlds-biggest-electric-utility-china-rising-radio-sinoland-221127/). In September-October, when I was in China, I asked people about the price of electricity in the various parts of the country where I was traveling, to compare to France. This was before the big French 2024 increases. Citizens in China pay the equivalent of €0.07/kwh, compared to France at €0.25. That is 3.6 times more! After this year’s French hikes of 10% + 10%, it’s going to be almost four times cheaper in China than in France. Here in Normandy, our electricity bill was €300/month this winter and that was with a fireplace!

How do the Chinese do it? First, being communist-socialist, the people trump profits. Even so, State Grid makes billions of RMB in profit and still serves the citizens. Second, adopting cost-cutting technologies, like taking up the new generation nuclear power system that the French stupidly dropped, thanks to neo-liberal austerity cost cuts at privatized EDF. Third, by driving down the cost of green energy. Just in the last 12 months, China has driven down the cost of solar panels by 42% (https://www.mining.com/falling-solar-production-costs-gives-china-enormous-advantage-report/).

China is doing this in part by reaching economies of scale. In 2023 alone, China installed more solar power than the entire history of the USA (https://www.carbonbrief.org/daily-brief/china-added-more-solar-panels-in-2023-than-us-did-in-its-entire-history/)! This chart tells the story,

There are other intangibles for public vs. private utilities. For decades, the USA has not added any new sulfur dioxide (SO2) scrubbers on its coal-fired electricity plants. You guessed, China is cleaning up its air by equipping more and more of theirs. The chart below shows the proof (https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/es1025678),

State Grid and its partners are also working on sequestering carbon dioxide emissions from China’s coal-fired power plants, deep underground (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0921344916301240). Again, this is public vs. private putting the health and environment of the people over profits.

In short, with the neo-liberal neocons in power in the West, the citizens are on a nightmarish highway to hell, as infrastructure is falling apart (https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2021/09/24/the-usa-is-falling-apart-at-the-seams-and-nobody-seems-to-care-the-rest-of-eurangloland-is-hot-on-its-collapsing-heels-this-while-the-chinese-nation-is-a-speeding-infrastructure-and-technology-bulle/), social programs are gutted, taxes and inflation on the 99% keep going up, while their governments borrow trillions of dollars/euros for wars in Ukraine, Palestine, Yemen and military caprices on every continent and in every ocean.

Meanwhile, the Chinese are happier, getting richer, better educated, healthier and living longer, as their country rapidly develops into the most modern and prosperous nation on Planet Earth. Don’t believe me? These charts are my closing case,



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JEFF J. BROWN, Editor, China Rising, and Senior Editor & China Correspondent, Dispatch from Beijing, The Greanville Post

Jeff J. Brown is a geopolitical analyst, journalist, lecturer and the author of The China Trilogy. It consists of 44 Days Backpacking in China – The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass (2013); Punto Press released China Rising – Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations (2016); and BIG Red Book on China (2020). As well, he published a textbook, Doctor WriteRead’s Treasure Trove to Great English (2015). Jeff is a Senior Editor & China Correspondent for The Greanville Post, where he keeps a column, Dispatch from Beijing and is a Global Opinion Leader at 21st Century. He also writes a column for The Saker, called the Moscow-Beijing Express. Jeff writes, interviews and podcasts on his own program, China Rising Radio Sinoland, which is also available on YouTubeStitcher Radio, iTunes, Ivoox and RUvid. Guests have included Ramsey Clark, James Bradley, Moti Nissani, Godfree Roberts, Hiroyuki Hamada, The Saker and many others. [/su_spoiler]

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