Solar power dawns light of prosperity in China's impoverished areas
Updated 22:26, 06-Apr-2021
A photovoltaic power station at the green industrial development park in Qinghai Province, northwest China, August 17, 2020. /Xinhua

A photovoltaic power station at the green industrial development park in Qinghai Province, northwest China, August 17, 2020. /Xinhua

Solar photovoltaic (PV) power project, one of the major targeted poverty alleviation programs in China, has contributed greatly to the country's poverty reduction efforts, according to a white paper released by the State Council Information Office on Tuesday.

In areas with appropriate solar resources and suitable conditions, the government has funded the construction of PV power stations, which are owned collectively by the local villages.

The income generated from the power stations is spent entirely on alleviating poverty. As of the end of 2020, 100,000 villages across China had installed PV power stations, generating a total of 18.65 million KW of electricity and bringing an average annual income of 200,000 yuan (about $30,000) for each village. 

The earnings have been used to create public welfare jobs, fund small public welfare programs and offer small bonuses and subsidies, said the white paper.

Poverty alleviation through solar power generation has been instrumental in building independent development capability of the impoverished areas, helping the underprivileged area and their people find employment locally.

Since 2014, the country has formulated relevant plans, introduced fiscal, financial and pricing policies, strengthened power grid building and operation services, and promoted various solar PV poverty alleviation projects funded by the government and implemented by aiding enterprises. 

Qinghai Province is one of the examples in China where impoverished villages have been pulled out of poverty by launching solar power projects. 

Yangjiashan Village in Ledu District of Haidong City, Qinghai Province, has installed more than 100,000 solar panels on top of the mountains to generate power. These panels were incorporated with a power grid in June last year. Covering 66.7 hectares (0.667 kilometers), it is one of the 31 projects helping villages shake off poverty by taking advantage of photovoltaic.

Qinghai's solar power poverty alleviation projects have an installed capacity of 730,000 kilowatts photovoltaic power, and are expected to generate 570 million yuan. About 283,000 villagers in poverty, accounting for 52.5 percent of the total deprived population of the province, benefit from these projects. 

Its renewable energy took up 86.5 percent and 86.2 percent, respectively, of the total installed capacity and power generation of the whole province last year. 

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