Headline: Social impact assessment of photovoltaic poverty alleviation program in China

Boosted by impressive technological innovation and cost reductions, renewable energy in a growing number of countries is now primarily considered for its social and economic benefits. Among the renewable energy promotion actions at the global level, photovoltaic poverty alleviation (PVPA) program in China is very unique since the targeted users are villagers in poverty regions. Under this condition, it would be quite necessary to understand how are the PVPA program carrying out. In this study, three poverty villages are selected in the northwestern part of China to conduct the social impact analysis. An evaluation system including four categories and thirteen indicators was established. Site investigation and questionnaire interview was carried out to collect required information. Our findings reveal that the poor families in the three counties can increase their income by around 3000 RMB per year with the implementation of PVPA program. The final social impact indicator of Yanchi County, Dingbian County and Guazhou County are 2.61, 2.09 and 2.15 respectively. Villagers’ living standards in the three counties are prominently improved because of the solar power supply. The factors that hinder the development of PVPA projects are the lack of investment funds, poor quality of solar panels, low public awareness, high abandon rate of photovoltaic, etc. Recommendations for improving the sustainable development of PVPA program based on the findings are also proposed.

Publication Year
Publication Type
Academic Articles

Huang, Y., Huang, B., Song, J., Xu, X., Chen, X., Zhang, Z., & Xue, B. (2021). Social impact assessment of photovoltaic poverty alleviation program in China. Journal of cleaner production, 290: 125208. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.125208.

Projects involved
Junior Research Group ProMUT: Sustainability Management 4.0 - Transformative Potentials of Networked Manufacturing for Humans, the Environment and Technology