In this article we are going to list the 15 largest power companies in the world. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 10 largest power companies in the world. The power industry is one of the most important and integral industries in the world, and to learn why it is so important, first let’s take a look at what power companies actually do. Power plants are the place where electricity is generated, and after its generation, moves through a complex series of networks which is more popularly known as the grid. This grid consists of electricity substations, power lines and transformers which are used to connect the producers of electricity with the consumers, which includes both commercial and industrial customers. So basically, power companies refer to companies in charge of producing power which in turn is used to generate electricity. And we all know that without electricity, we would all be transformed back into the stone ages, and especially in developed economies, electricity is fundamental to the economy and the standard of living, as nearly everything depends on electricity. While electricity is also supremely important in developing economies, these countries are still a bit far behind in their usage of electricity, mainly because demand outstrips supply. Hence, many countries in the world experience frequent power outages.
Currently, the power sector is expected to go through massive change and completely redefine its way of working. Why is that? Well, the power company has come under intense scrutiny on how it actually generates power and whether that’s sustainable or not. For the past couple of centuries, power has been generated through fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, which are limited in quantity and also absolutely disastrous for the environment. The burning of fossil fuels is in fact one of the biggest drivers of climate change, whose effects we’re starting to reap now.
Thus, in order to both effectively develop an infrastructure which ensures the supply of power over both the medium term and the long term, and to do in a sustainable manner without damaging the infrastructure means that the entire sector needs to change and adapt for its long term survival, and the survival of the planet. To do this while also maintaining profitability and high returns for shareholders will be a major challenge which the sector is poised to meet. There are already alternative sources of power available, especially for the production of electricity which include solar, hydropower, geothermal and wind power among many others.
Mature markets in the power industry are currently facing high competition and low growth which includes countries in North America including the United States as well as many countries in Western Europe. Developing economies on the other hand, see much higher growths as there is a lot more unexplored area in such regions while competitions also tends to be low, allowing companies to maximize their returns. These regions include Asia, Africa and South America. Further, in Europe, due to strict regulations and environmentally friendly laws, power companies have to maintain extremely high standards while in developing economies, the laws are much more lax and the companies can act with much more impunity.
When countries across the world went into lockdown, all non-essential industries were shut down. Offices were closed and where possible, employees were asked to work from home. Even I, for the past 9 months have been working from home as the situation is still extremely uncertain. Due to the closure of industries, the demand for power fell significantly which was only partially offset by the increase in demand from the residential sector as people spent more and more time in their own homes, unable to go out for any reason. Once things start to return to normal, it is expected that industries will ramp up production to attempt to make up for lost time.
The biggest companies in the power sector earned more than $620 billion in revenue in the last year, while their net assets actually exceed $2 trillion. Their net income combined surpassed the figure of $33 billion. Due to the strong connection between the two industries, you will see many companies common with the largest utility companies in the world. Our ranking is based on the market cap, revenue, assets and net profit earned by the company, and all of the information has been taken from Forbes. So let’s take a look at the global power giants, starting with number 15:
15. Huaneng Power International (NYSE:HNP)
Total market cap of the company (in billions of dollars): 6
Total revenue of the company in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 24.9
Total assets of the company in 2019 (in billions of dollars): 61.5
Total net income of the company in 2019 (in millions of dollars): 29
The Chinese electric power company is one of the biggest in the world and is engaged in the development, construction and operation of major power plants.