US$3.32 billion to upgrade rural power grids

China's power grids to be of a higher quality by 2020, with less chance of blackouts, after the Ministry of Finance promises funds for grid upgrade.

China will spend 22.32 billion yuan (US$3.32 billion) to upgrade power grids in rural areas, the Ministry of Finance said today.

By 2020, China’s rural areas will be fully covered by reliable power systems, which provide constant and safe electricity. Blackout probability will be as low as 0.02 percent, while 97.9 percent of the electricity will be in high quality to avoid accidents.

Of the 22.3 billion yuan spend, 14.35 billion yuan will be used to cover the debt of state-owned grid companies, and 7.97 billion yuan is to upgrade the grids.

Upgrading rural grids will be a more onerous task than those in cities as they "cover larger areas while users are more scattered, which raises higher demands on quality and network designs,” the ministry said.

The upgrade will improves the lives of those living in remote rural areas while allowing for the burning of less coal, which will help reduce air pollution.

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