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Power art

Power Power is a new mechanic introduced in Civilization VI: Gathering Storm. It simulates electricity usage in modern cities. Power Power is needed for (almost) all late-game buildings and its production is one of the major contributors to CO2 emissions and, consequently, natural disasters.


Power Power is a late-game city stat which has demand and supply (similarly to Amenities Amenities). Demand for Power Power in a city is created by certain buildings; in fact, most late-game Tier 3 buildings (starting with the Factory) will require Power Power to function at full efficiency. The combination of all buildings which require Power Power creates the total Power Power requirement of a city.

If the city doesn't have enough Power Power, the respective buildings will function at about 1/3 of their capacity. Note that a city cannot supply Power Power to some buildings and not to others - if its total Power Power requirement is not met, then no buildings in it will be powered.

Note that only late-game buildings need Power Power, so your cities will work just fine without it until you hit the Industrial Era. After that, their Power Power needs will increase as you build more and more late game buildings. Note that the late-game contributors to the most important yields, including Production Production, Gold Gold, Science Science, and Culture Culture need Power Power. If an empire wants to keep pace with its rivals in the general progress in Science Science, Culture Culture, and general Production Production development, it will need to provide Power Power to its cities. Failure to do so will mean significantly reduced progress in the vital closing phase of the game, and this will leave the civilization behind in vital late-game races. Players who ignore this new mechanic completely may be hard-pressed to win anything but a Religious Victory, since Faith Faith production and religious units are unaffected by the new Power Power mechanics.

Power Production[]

There are two distinct sources of Power Power for your cities:

Power Plants[]

Special buildings in the Industrial Zone are dedicated to converting certain resources to Power Power. For this purpose, the existing Tier 3 Power Plant building has been completely reworked: there are now three separate kinds of Power Plants, each of which uses a different strategic resource (Coal Coal, Oil Oil, or Uranium Uranium) as fuel. Each of them becomes available at a different stage of the game, with the Coal Power Plant unlocking first with Industrialization (Industrial Era), the Oil Power Plant unlocking next with Electricity (Modern Era), and the Nuclear Power Plant unlocking last with Nuclear Fission (Atomic Era).

The upside of using Power Plants is that you won't need that many to power up all of your cities - the regional effect will take care of that. Besides which you will be providing more Production Production for your cities, along with Power Power, without using up additional land. The downside is that you will need to juggle your consumable resources between producing Power Power and maintaining your units. You will also be contributing to climate change, with all the ensuing negative consequences.

Mechanics of Power Plants[]

Because of the regional effect of Power Plants and the way they use up stockpiled resources, their exact functioning bears some explanation:

  • Each turn a Power Plant will attempt to provide required Power Power to all cities within range, converting stockpiles of the relevant resource into Power Power. Note that cities will consider their own renewable power supplies first, before turning to a nearby Power Plant!
  • The Power Power produced by each single Plant is automatically distributed among all cities in range that need it. The Power Power range always counts from the District District that generates Power Power to the City Center, not to the District District that requires it.
  • As the number of buildings requiring Power Power in cities increases, the Power Plants will automatically use up more and more resources to keep electricity running. There is nothing you could do to prevent this, apart of providing alternative sources of Power Power, or simply refraining from constructing buildings that need it.
  • When two different types of Power Plants function for the same city (that is, a single city is within range of two different Plants using different resources), things get even more interesting:
    • For this city, the game engine will use the Power Plant which draws the resource of which you have a larger stockpile.
    • If there is a tie, the game will use the resource of which you gain more per turn.
    • If there is still a tie, the more technologically advanced resource will be used.
    • For example: If a player has both a Coal Power Plant and an Oil Power Plant supplying the same city, but has larger stockpile of Coal Coal, it will use up this one first, before turning to Oil Oil; if, however, their stockpiles tie, and the player earns the same quantity per turn of both, the game will start using Oil Oil as the more advanced resource.
  • Coal and Oil Power Plants will convert their fuel at the rate 1 fuel → 4 Power Power; the Nuclear Power Plant, however, is much more efficient (as in real life) and will convert 1 fuel to 16 Power Power! However, it also carries with it the danger of a Nuclear Meltdown disaster, in which the plant might explode, emulating the detonation of a Nuclear Device Nuclear Device with the ensuing radioactive fallout. For more info, head here.
  • For the sake of total fuel consumption and its distribution among Power plants it doesn't matter how many cities use Power Plants to satisfy their needs - what matters is how many power plants effectively work to provide power. Each separate Power Plant will use at least 1 of the relevant fuel, usually more, if the demand it has to meet between all cities it reaches exceeds 4 Power Power. For example:
    • Let's say we have a Coal Power Plant supplying energy to its own city's Factory, as well as 2 more cities, where there are another Factory and a Stock Exchange (total Power Power needed = 2 + 2 + 3 = 7). The Coal Coal resource needed for this will be 2, despite the fact that there are three separate cities using it.
    • Let's say we have two different cities with a Factory and a Coal Power Plant in each, but the two aren't close enough for a single Power Plant to service their needs. The Power Power demand of each city will be 2, thus totaling 4; however, you will need both Power Plants to work separately to supply this Power Power (because the cities are too far away from each other). Thus the amount of fuel resource consumed will be 2, regardless of the fact that the total Power Power needed is only 4.

There is an important consideration to be made in relation to the above notes: advancing to a more technologically advanced resource (which, in turn, emits less CO2) doesn't mean that a switch to its use will be made immediately. As long as there is still a Power Plant in your empire which uses the less-advanced resources resource and/or its stockpile is larger than the more advanced one, the game will continue drawing from it instead of the more technologically advanced one until the stockpile levels even out. As per the above rules, even then it may continue being used while you're earning more of it per turn. So, if you want to switch to the more advanced resource immediately, the most reliable way is to convert all your Power Plants.

All three types of Power Plants emit CO2 and contribute to climate change. The more advanced the plant is, the less emissions it produces, so the Nuclear Power Plant will be the most ecologically-friendly of the three. Only one type of Power Plant may be present in each Industrial Zone; nonetheless, as technology progresses, you can run projects that help convert one type of Power Plant into a more advanced or more primitive one, depending on what type of resources are most readily available and whether or not you care about climate change. Also, when a Climate Accords competition is active, you will have the opportunity to remove the Power Plant from its Industrial Zone by running one of the Decommission Power Plant projects.

Renewable Energy[]

In the latest stages of the game, renewable Power Power sources also become available. They generate free Power Power from the land and water, and can replace Power Plants, either partially or completely, as the main source of Power Power for your cities. They don't "burn" resources (that is, consume them each turn), and because they are clean energy, they do not produce CO2 emissions. The downsides are that these sources provide Power Power only for their respective city, and you will need to dedicate land for the four types of generators: Geothermal Plants, Solar Farms, Wind Farms, and Offshore Wind Farms. Each type of improvement only works for one distinct terrain type (with the Geothermal Plant working only on a specific terrain feature), so choose wisely what technology you want to beeline first.

There is an additional, fifth type of renewable Power Power source: the Hydroelectric Dam. It can be built only in a city that has a Dam district, but is the first available and most potent source of renewable Power Power for your cities.

There are two other ways to boost your renewable energy output. The first is becoming the Suzerain of Cardiff, which enables your each of your Harbor buildings to generate +2 Power Power. A fully-developed Harbor will provide +6 Power Power this way. The second is building the Biosphère, which increases the output of your renewable energy sources by 200%. This boost also applies to the Power Power output gained from Cardiff, potentially providing an output of +18 Power Power - on par with a (Biosphère-boosted) Hydroelectric Dam.

List of buildings requiring power[]

Building District Power Power required Powered bonus
Factory Factory Industrial Zone Industrial Zone 2 +3 Production Production
Research Lab Research Lab Campus Campus 3 +5 Science Science
Broadcast Center Broadcast Center Theater Square Theater Square 3 +4 Culture Culture
Stock Exchange Stock Exchange Commercial Hub Commercial Hub 3 +7 Gold Gold
Food Market Food Market Neighborhood Neighborhood 1 +2 Food Food
Shopping Mall Shopping Mall 1 +1 Amenity Amenity, +2 Gold Gold
Airport Airport Aerodrome Aerodrome 1 +2 Production Production
Stadium Stadium Entertainment Complex Entertainment Complex 2 +2 Amenities Amenities
Aquatics Center Aquatics Center Water Park Water Park 2 +2 Amenities Amenities

Power tab[]

Each city now has a new tab in its City Details: the Power tab. Here its Power Power requirements and supply are conveniently and exhaustively described:

  • At the top, the Usable and Required numbers describe the exact balance of Power Power at a glance, and specify whether the city is Powered or Unpowered.
  • The Usable Power section underneath lists all current sources of Power Power for this city (from local renewables or from cities with Power Plants) and how much exactly each one supplies. It also lists the icon of the resource which currently supplies the Power Power.
  • The Required Power section lists all buildings in the city that require Power Power, and how much each one requires.
  • The Power Plant Output section is present if this city has a Power Plant and supplies Power Power to nearby cities. Here you can see exactly which city supplies Power Power to which other cities, and how much. This will help you a lot when deciding which Power Plants to switch to different resource consumption in order to optimize your fuel resources.

Power lens[]


The game developers stressed that the Power Power system is not essential for your game - that is, you can go on without ever providing Power Power to your cities. But frankly, the +3 Production Production bonus from the Factory and all the other bonus yields which powered Tier 3 buildings provide are simply too important to pass on. You can be sure the AI leaders (except Kupe) won't pass on this. If you're attempting to be "green" in the Industrial, Modern, and Atomic Eras, relying only on Hydroelectric Dams (the only sustainable energy source available before the early Information Era), you risk falling behind on your victory progress.

A mid- to large-sized empire will need on average 5-8 Power Power per city when fully developed (assuming each has a Factory and two other Tier 3 buildings). That adds up to 50-80 Power Power for 10 cities. Granted, you won't need that much in the Industrial and Modern Eras, but you should consider the fact that your total progress will still suffer if you don't generate any Power Power at all in this period, or if you provide only a fraction of what is required. You need a strategy.

So, how can you power up your cities in a smart way?

The dirty way[]

This means using more polluting but generally more readily available fossil fuels, mainly Coal Coal. This resource is used only for two types of ships in the Industrial and Modern Eras, compared to the omnipresent Oil Oil, which is needed for practically all modern weapons before the Giant Death Robot. So, you will use your Oil Oil to maintain a top-notch army, and the dirty Coal Coal can be used generally to provide cheap Power Power to your cities. This may, of course, be complemented by Hydroelectric Dams in cities which are able to build them, but their share of the energy footprint will be minor. And your contribution to global warming will go through the roof.

You can attempt a slightly more environmentally friendly approach, and primarily use Oil Oil for Power Plants. But, look above - using this approach will force you to limit the number of modern units you have, and leave you vulnerable to late-game adventurists and domination-seeking players. Unless of course you're lucky enough to have 4+ sources of the most difficult to find resource in the game.

The goal of the "dirty" way is to power up your cities in the cheapest way possible, while preserving your advanced resources for units and your land for other development. Since Power Plants, with their regional effect, are the main source of Power Power, and they will automatically use as many resources as needed, you will need relatively few plants and may dedicate your land and time to building stuff apart from Industrial Zones. Or if you prefer, you may build an Industrial Zone in every city for the sake of the Production Production boost - it won't make a difference for your CO2 footprint.

The green way[]

Environmentally friendly ("green") sources of power include mainly tile improvements, as well as the aforementioned Hydroelectric Dam. The good about this is that there are potentially limitless opportunities for placing such things - practically every tile in your empire not containing a District District, wonder, or resource may be used for generating green power. The bad is:

  1. Most green power sources become available too late in the game to make a big difference.
  2. You will need to use a lot of land (and water), which could potentially be used for more profitable ventures.

That said, you have an important trump card here: atomic power. This power source is four times as efficient as other types of fuel, so you will be using one quarter of it to generate the same level of Power Power. If you combine this with sustainable energy improvements, you can make it work.

However, the Nuclear Power Plant becomes available quite late (in the Atomic Era), and the other improvements even later. Until then, you will only have the Hydroelectric Dam as a means of generating Power Power, so use it! Build Dam districts in all possible cities, research Electricity ASAP, and build Hydroelectric Dams. This will provide 6 Power Power in every city where you have a Dam - use only these cities for your power-requiring buildings for now. Build Industrial Zones there for the Factories, use them to provide Production Production boosts to nearby cities, but do not build any Power Plants or they'll start burning resources automatically. You can also run Industrial Zone Logistics projects in other cities where you have an Industrial Zone but no Dam - this will power them up while the project runs. A temporary solution, of course, but it's better than nothing. After researching Nuclear Fission, build Nuclear Power Plants if you find any Uranium Uranium in your lands.

Feel free to use all of your Uranium Uranium for Power Power generation, unless you're seeking a Domination Victory. In that case, you will need at least some of it for the ultimate units in the game. Fulfill the rest of your Power Power needs with sustainable energy - if you're a domination-focused player, you should have more than enough land to spare for such endeavors. You will also have the satisfaction of having contributed the least to global warming...which may turn out to be a lifesaver if you control a lot of coastal territory.

If it turns out you don't have Uranium Uranium you had better switch to the "dirty" strategy ASAP, because you'll have wasted enough time already.


See also[]

Civilization VI Statistics [edit]
Culture CultureDiplomatic Favor Diplomatic Favor GS-OnlyFaith FaithFood FoodGold GoldPower Power GS-OnlyProduction ProductionScience ScienceTourism Tourism
GS-Only Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.
Civilization VI [edit]
Rise and FallGathering StormNew Frontier PassLeader Pass
R&F-Only Added in the Rise and Fall expansion pack.
GS-Only Added in the Gathering Storm expansion pack.