IEEE Electrification Magazine - March 2015 - 47

extension and exploitation of decentralized local grids, with
strong state support.
The bottom-up approach is recognized as a unique feature
and a significant contributor to the overall rural electrification
story. Such an approach not only uses local resources, such as
SHP, but is funded, planned, managed, and operated by local
investors, DPCs, and other authorities. China had an early
emphasis on renewable energy from the small hydro to PV
household systems and hybrid systems later on. The choice is
not purely based on environmental reasons but rather on the
resources locally available and the technology that is best suited. Rural electrification is also characterized by a phased
development pattern. Such a pattern has worked fairly well in
China when local small-scale grids were first developed, giving electricity access to the rural population and allowing agriculture and industry to develop, and it is easier to upgrade or
connect them into a regional network at a later stage.
Rural electrification is indispensable to rural economic
development, and by recognizing this link, China appears to
succeed in both electricity and rural development. Even
when electricity was not directly addressed in the early policies, it was still intricately linked with and developed in the
Poverty Alleviation programs and Township and Village
Enterprises brought by the Reform and Open-up Policy.
Rural agriculture and rural enterprises have access to electricity to be more productive, and in turn, the increased productivity will spur demand to justify investment and the
possibility of revenue. The living standards in rural areas
have improved because of more electric appliances, and
social services including education, health care, and entertainment are also becoming possible.
While waiting for more studies to ascertain the replicability of Chinese rural electrification, other developing
countries can surely be inspired by the Chinese experiences
and benefit from Chinese lessons.

acknowledgments
This work was supported by the Doctoral Program of Higher Education for the Priority Development Areas
(20130201130001), the Fundamental Research Funds for the
Central Universities, and the Independence research project
of the State Key Laboratory of Electrical Insulation and
Power Equipment in Xi'an Jiaotong University (EIPE14106).

For Further reading
T. Hevia. (2009). The rural electrification in China and the
impact of renewable energies, China Europe International
Business School, Shanghai, China. Tech. Rep., p. 42. [Online].
Available: http://www.ceibs.edu/bmt/images/20110221/30210.pdf
D. F. Barnes, "The challenge of rural electrification: Strategies for developing countries," in Earthscan, 2007.
S. C. Bhattacharyya and S. Ohiare, "The Chinese electricity
access model for rural electrification: Approach, experience
and lessons for others," Energy Policy, vol. 49, pp. 676-687, Oct.
2012.
H. Zerriffi, Rural Electrification: Strategies for Distributed Generation. New York: Springer, 2010.

J. Pan, M. Li, X. Wu, L. Wan, R. J. Elias, D. Victor, H. Zerriffi, Z.
Chi, and W. Peng. (2006). Rural electrification in China 1950-
2004: Historical processes and key driving forces. Stanford
University Working Paper. [Online]. Available: http://pesd.fsi.
stanford.edu/publications/rural_elec_china
J. Tong, "Some features of China's small hydropower,"
J. Water Energy Environ., vol. 4, pp. 11-14, Jan. 2009.
Z. Bie, Y. Lin, G. Li, X. Jin, and B. Hua, "Smart grid in China: A
promising solution to China's energy and environmental
issues," Int. J. Environ. Stud., vol. 70, no. 5, pp. 702-718, 2013.
Z. Liu, Electric Power and Energy in China. New York: Wiley, 2013.
World Bank, "China-Renewable Energy Development Project
implementation compilation and results report," Rep.
ICR0000880, 2009.
C. Shyu, "Rural electrification program with renewable energy sources: An analysis of China's Township Electrification Program," Energy Policy, vol. 51, pp. 842-853, Dec. 2012.
World Bank. (2011). Solar systems for 400,000 rural households. [Online]. Available: http://www.worldbank.org/en/
news/feature/2011/04/06/solar-systems-for-400000-ruralhouseholds-china
J. L. Sawin and L. Mastny. (2012). Renewables 2012, Global
Status Rep., p. 33. [Online]. Available: http://www.map.ren21.
net/GSR/GSR2012_low.pdf
H. Liming, "Financing rural renewable energy: A comparison between China and India," Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev.,
vol. 13, no. 5, pp. 1096-1103, 2009.
J. Pan. (2002). Rural energy patterns in China: A preliminary assessment from available data sources, Program on
Energy and Sustainable Development Working Paper. [Online].
vol. 12. Available: http://pesd.fsi.stanford.edu/publications/
rural_energy_patterns_in_china_a_preliminary_assessment_
from_available_data_sources
X. Zhang and A. Kumar, "Evaluating renewable energy-based
rural electrification program in western China: Emerging
problems and possible scenarios," Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev.,
vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 773-779, 2011.
IEA Small Hydro International Gateway-China. [Online].
Available: http://www.ieahydro.org/Small_Scale_Hydro2.html
China, The Ministry of Water, 2006-2008 National Plan
of substitution of biofuels with small. [Online]. Available:
http://ghs.ndrc.gov.cn/ghwb/115zxgh/200709/P020070927
607783127589.doc (in Chinese)
China, The Ministry of Water, 2009-2015 National Plan of
substitution of biofuels with small hydropower. [Online].
Available: http://www.iwhr.com/zgskyww/kycg/webinfo/
2010/07/1279253973131286.htm

biographies
Zhaohong Bie (zhbie@mail.xjtu.edu.cn) earned her B.S. and
M.S. degrees from the Electric Power Department of Shandong University, Jinan, China, in 1992 and 1994, respectively, and her Ph.D. degree from Xi'an Jiaotong University,
Xi'an, China, in 1998. Currently, she is a professor in the
State Key Laboratory of Electrical Insulation and Power
Equipment and the School of Electrical Engineering, Xi'an
Jiaotong University.
Yanling Lin (linyanling@stu.xjtu.edu.cn) earned her B.S.
degree from the School of Electrical Engineering, Shandong University, Jinan, China, in 2013. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. degree at Xi'an Jiaotong University.

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http://www.pesd.fsi http://www.stanford.edu/publications/rural_elec_china http://www.worldbank.org/en/ http://www.map.ren21 http://pesd.fsi.stanford.edu/publications/ http://www.ieahydro.org/Small_Scale_Hydro2.html http://ghs.ndrc.gov.cn/ghwb/115zxgh/200709/P020070927 http://www.iwhr.com/zgskyww/kycg/webinfo/ http://www.ceibs.edu/bmt/images/20110221/30210.pdf

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