IEEE Electrification Magazine - March 2015 - 38

Figure 1. The administrative divisions of China and the representative geographic features of western China. (Photos courtesy of Wikipedia.)

Small thermal plants were called off later for environmental reasons, but a high reliance on small hydro for the rural
electricity supply was and still is a
characteristic of China as small hydro
plants continued to play an important
role in the years to come, and China is
still by far the leading player in small
hydro plants. Small hydro stations also
assist the rural population in agricultural irrigation and water preservation.
During this phase, a number of
favorable policies were put in place
regarding tariffs, subsidies, and the use
of electricity revenues to encourage further development of the system. By the
end of this stage, rural access rates had
reached 63%.
Rural electrification at the second
phase, from 1979 to 1997, was marked
with rapid expansion. The state recognized the importance of rural electrification for continued development, and in
the year 1979, a major reform of the rural power management
system was launched by the state, transforming the system

from central planning to market oriented, giving counties and
local authorities more autonomy in investment decisions. By
the end of this phase, the electrification
rate reached 99%.
The third phase, from 1998 until
today, is an era of a dynamic market
economy, when aspects of the power
system have undergone innovation,
reform, and upgrade. Rural and urban
markets were integrated as the central grid reached into more rural
areas, including areas supplied by
off-grid resources.
A series of rural electrification programs was released from the 1990s to
supply the rest of rural population
without electricity: the Brightness Program, the Township Electrification Program, and later the Village Electrification Program. By 2011, China had
achieved a rural electrification rate of
99.6% (the percentage of population
with access to electricity). As the electrification rate
approaches 100%, the development speed has slowed
down, and emphasis has been shifted
to power grid modification, hardware
upgrade, efficiency improvement, rural
Table 1. The evolution of rural electrification in china
from 1949 to Present.
electricity management system reform,
rural electricity network upgrade, infraRural
Year
Rural power
Number of villages % of total
structure facilities modernization, etc.
electrification
consumed
with access by
villages
stage
(% of total)
end of phase
Currently, there are still 3 million people
in China who have no access to
I
1949-1978
0.6-13.1
412,517
61.1
electricity, mostly in remote areas in
II
1979-1997
13.5-21.1
726,993
97.7
northwest China. Grid extension and
alternative solutions are being carried
III
1998-present 21.2-22
733,172
98.2
out to reach the goal of solving the
Source: Barnes, 2007.
problem of the unelectrified population.

Today, most of
the unelectrified
population is located
in western China on
higher-altitude and
more rugged terrain.
Construction of
grid extension
is both costly
and dangerous.

38

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



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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
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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
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