The State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) recently announced completion of the project to power up nearly 1.51 million pumping wells in 825 counties in 15 provinces across China, six months ahead of schedule.
Ningxia Hui autonomous region suffers from dry weather all year around, and 260,000 mu (17,333 hectares) of farmland there were irrigated with water pumped by dynamos or diesel engines. With the project done, people can easily irrigate just by turning on the irrigation batch meter installed on the farmland.
The State Council decided to launch a new round of rural grid upgrades in March 2016, making sure that grids in small cities and towns could be upgraded and all pumping wells in plain areas be electrified before the end of 2017.
Premier Li Keqiang asked all levels of government to play a leading role and grid enterprises to increase investment and push ahead with the project.
The three major tasks — powering every pumping well, upgrading rural grids and setting up cables for machinery operation in rural areas — have been priorities on SGCC’s two-year agenda.
Up to May 2017, the company had upgraded grids in 53,100 small cities and towns and installed cables for machinery running in 56,000 natural villages. Powering wells was completed in June.
The task of electrifying 29,300 pumping wells is also expected to be done by the end of September.
At a State Council executive meeting that decided to step up effective investment in key sectors, Premier Li listed the upgrade of rural electric power grids as one of the key fields to receive more central investment.
A new round of rural electric power grid upgrades will not only bridge the gap between urban and rural public services, promote agricultural modernization, and drive the upgrade of rural consumption, but also will expand effective investment and boost steady economic growth, the Premier said.
Now, the rural power grid upgrade project is playing an increasingly important role in promoting the development of rural areas and improving farmers’ lives. Since its implementation, the electricity supply infrastructure in rural areas has been greatly improved, with the reliability rate of the power supply being increased to 99.81 percent, providing an important guarantee for promoting supply-side structural reform, mass entrepreneurship and innovation, agriculture modernization, and poverty relief.
Several counties in Henan province, Shandong province, and Ningxia Hui autonomous region have completed their targets of upgrading electric power grids six months ahead of schedule. In Shouguang county, Shandong province, the per capita income of farmers has been increased by 50 percent, as 110,000 new-type intelligent greenhouses are powered by its new round of power grid upgrades.
And a number of new economic growth points have emerged in these areas, as the project enables farmers to cultivate more high value-added crops, instead of traditional food crops.