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Rural electrification in China: A policy and institutional analysis


  • Luo, Guo-liang
  • Guo, Yi-wei


The low level electrification in rural China could be ascribed to lack of supporting policies, weak institutional frameworks and limited financing channels. Over the past three decades, Chinese government has been making various efforts in both policies and financing to improve rural electrification. Thus, remarkable achievements have been made in this field. The rural electrification rate has exceeded 99 percent and the electricity demand of production and living has been basically met. The rural economy and society, infrastructures and eco-environment have been significantly improved thanks to the electrification development. Also, the gap of electrical facilities between the urban and the rural has been narrowed. However, there are still 936,000 farmer households or 3.86 million rural residents have no access to electric power supply. The institutional defects and delayed institutional reform in rural electrification have seriously impaired effects of the electric power policies. Thus, it is still a long way to go for China to set up a sound institutional framework, financing policies and vigorous county-level electric power supply enterprises.

Suggested Citation

  • Luo, Guo-liang & Guo, Yi-wei, 2013. "Rural electrification in China: A policy and institutional analysis," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 320-329.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:23:y:2013:i:c:p:320-329
    DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2013.02.040

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Luo, Guo-liang & Zhang, Xinghua, 2012. "Universalization of access to modern energy services in Tibetan rural households—Renewable energy's exploitation, utilization, and policy analysis," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 2373-2380.
    2. Zhang, Xilin & Kumar, Ashok, 2011. "Evaluating renewable energy-based rural electrification program in western China: Emerging problems and possible scenarios," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 773-779, January.
    3. Estache, Antonio & Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Xinzhu Zhang, 2004. "Universal service obligations in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3421, The World Bank.
    4. Mirabel, Francois & Poudou, Jean-Christophe, 2004. "Mechanisms of funding for Universal Service Obligations: the electricity case," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 801-823, September.
    5. Haanyika, Charles M., 2008. "Rural electrification in Zambia: A policy and institutional analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 1044-1058, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tanner, Andrew M. & Johnston, Alison L., 2017. "The Impact of Rural Electric Access on Deforestation Rates," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 174-185.
    2. Xianli Zhu & Guiyang Zhuang & Na Xiong, 2014. "A review of China's approaches toward a sustainable energy future: the period since 1990," Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(5), pages 409-423, September.
    3. Xue, Jinlin, 2017. "Photovoltaic agriculture - New opportunity for photovoltaic applications in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 1-9.
    4. Holtmeyer, Melissa L. & Wang, Shuxiao & Axelbaum, Richard L., 2013. "Considerations for decision-making on distributed power generation in rural areas," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 708-715.
    5. Cheng, Chuntian & Liu, Benxi & Chau, Kwok-Wing & Li, Gang & Liao, Shengli, 2015. "China׳s small hydropower and its dispatching management," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 43-55.
    6. Sen Guo & Huiru Zhao & Chunjie Li & Haoran Zhao & Bingkang Li, 2016. "Significant Factors Influencing Rural Residents’ Well-Being with Regard to Electricity Consumption: An Empirical Analysis in China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(11), pages 1-13, November.
    7. repec:eee:rensus:v:81:y:2018:i:p2:p:3032-3040 is not listed on IDEAS


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