IEEE Electrification Magazine - March 2015 - 16

By Guohui Yuan

rural
Electrification
Goes Local
Recent innovations in renewable generation,
energy efficiency, and grid modernization.
HE DEFINITION OF RURAL AREAS HAS
evolved over time because of the urbanization movement. Today, rural areas are
typically defined as all territories outside
urban or suburban areas, where farming
is still the main economic activity. The U.S Census
Bureau defines a rural area as any area outside of an
urbanized area whose population is greater than 50,000
and whose core population density is greater than 1,000
persons per square mile (or 386 persons per square kilometer). There are many other definitions by different
countries and even by different government agencies
within the same country. Regardless, the common attributes of rural areas are the small population clusters
and low population density. These two characteristics
dictate that there are tremendous challenges to building infrastructure in the geographically disperse rural
areas, which constrains economic activities and household incomes.

T

historical Background
Rural electrification has come a long way since the early
days of electric power systems. In the United States, by the
end of 1920s, electricity was generally accessible to the
average citizens in cities like New York, but most of the

Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/MELE.2014.2380193
Date of publication: 27 February 2015

16

I E E E E l e c t r i f i cati o n M agaz ine / marCh 2015

rural areas were without
electricity. An executive
order was signed by
President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935 establishing the Rural Electrification Administration, and
by 1975, more than 99%
of all farms had electricity. The National Academy of Engineering ranks
electrification as one of
the greatest engineering
achievements in the
20th century.
Similarly, in other developed countries, the rural electrification rate is 99% or greater. In the developing world,
however, rural electrification has lagged by several
decades but has grown rapidly in recent years, particularly
in China (>99%) and India (>90%). Still, as of 2009, over a
billion people, or 20% of the world's population, do not
have access to electricity. The majority live in rural areas.

rural Electrification mission
People living in rural areas use electricity beyond the basic
needs of lighting and watching TV. To improve their standard of living at home, they need electricity for heating and
cooling and for home appliances for daily chores. To
achieve higher productivity at work, they need electricity
2325-5987/15©2015IEEE



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Electrification Magazine - March 2015

IEEE Electrification Magazine - March 2015 - Cover1
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IEEE Electrification Magazine - March 2015 - 1
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IEEE Electrification Magazine - March 2015 - Cover3
IEEE Electrification Magazine - March 2015 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_december2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_september2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_june2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_march2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_december2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_september2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_june2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_march2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_december2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_september2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_june2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_december2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_september2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_march2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_june2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_march2017
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_june2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_december2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_september2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_december2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_march2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_march2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_june2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_september2015
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_march2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_june2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_september2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_december2014
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_december2013
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pes/electrification_september2013
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com