Turning on the Lights in China – Part 1/2

Access to electricity is the key to developing a country into a modern state with the potential to grow a large, consumer driven middle class.

Poverty reduction is also linked to access to electricity.

In fact, to reduce poverty, China has introduced electricity access to over 900 million rural residents in over 50 years and has achieved an electricity access rate of as high as 98%. Source: Stanford.edu

August 15, 2010

In 1949 when the People’s Republic (PRC) was founded, there were only 33 small hydropower stations in rural China, with a total installed capacity of 3.63 megawatts, and total electricity consumption in rural areas was 20 million kilowatts. Today, there are thousands of hydropower stations, and the PRC has more than any country on the earth.

In 1979, China’s Xinhua state run news agency reported a serious electric power shortage. The agency said China produced about 150,000 million kilowatts of electricity a year and ranked about seventh among the world’s electric energy producers.

In fact, China’s output was about an eighth that of the US. Source: History of China’s electricity use

August 15, 2010

In the last post, China’s Goals to Go Green, we discovered that China now produces more electricity than the US.

To understand what China has accomplished since 1979 when it was ranked seventh among the world’s electricity producers instead of first, it helps to discover the time it took for America’s electrical grid to be built, which will be continued on June 20, 2011 in Turning on the Lights in China – Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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