Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Working Paper #3
When the People's Republic was founded in 1949, the Chinese electricity industry, with only 1.85 GW installed capacity, was primitive. It has since grown into the second largest in the world, with installed capacity rising to 353 GW in 2002. The number of people who have no access to electricity has been reduced to less than 2 percent of a population of 1.26 billion. On a per capita basis, installed capacity has edged up to one half of the world's average. Development has been particularly impressive since the 1980s thanks to increased investment in the sector.