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.
Then the first alternating current (AC) power plant opened in 1885 and transmitted power 200 miles from the plant.
By 1927, forty-five years later, the first power grid was established in Pennsylvania.
However, it wasn’t until 1933 that Congress passed legislation establishing the Tennessee Valley Authority.
Then in 1935, FDR issued an executive order to create the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) to bring electricity to millions of rural Americans.
It took six years after the REA was launched in 1941 to help 800 rural electric cooperatives to string 350,000 miles of power lines.
What took the U.S. 130 years to build starting in 1885, China did in the last 50 years. The biggest difference between modern China and America is the size of the population to supply electricity to. America has a population of more than 321.9 million, but China has about 1.38 billion people—a daunting task.
In addition, just in case you think electricity was invented in the U.S. by Benjamin Franklin, think again. The English scientist William Gilbert (1544 – 1603) is called the father of modern electric power. Then Italian physicist Alessandro Volta (1745 – 1827) discovered that particular chemical reactions could produce electricity. There were others who contributed, of course, and some were Americans. – Who Discovered Electricity
Return to or start with Part 1
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.