On China's Electricity Grid, East Needs West—for Coal

China taps the west’s coal reserves to light up its coast
Trucks line up at the Buya Coal Mine in the Xinjiang region Photograph by Liu Xin/Color China Photo/AP Photo

Geography has presented obstacles to generations of Chinese planners. From the ancient Grand Canal to the ongoing South-to-North Water Transfer Project, vast waterways have been rerouted. The latest challenge: redirecting energy generated in some of China’s remotest provinces to power-hungry cities in the east.

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