A silk banner has been brought to GCL New Energy’s Xinhua 40-MW PV-powered Poverty Alleviation Power Station in Yuncheng, Shandong by a local elderly woman named Zhang Guihua fashionably dressed in a newly bought, yellow-checked coat with her hair arranged nicely. The gold print on the banner reads, “A strong sense of social responsibility and effective effort toward poverty alleviation.” She brought many other locals with her to present the banner, express gratitude, and pay new year greetings to the workers at the power station.
She said, “Since you have come, we have gained so much. We have been farmers our whole lives; we never thought we would ever earn wages! And in the winter, you worried we would be cold and hungry, so you gave us blankets, rice, and oil….” While saying this, she firmly held the hand of one of the power station workers, using simple language and speaking on and on about her gratitude and feelings.
In the past, her family fell into poverty because of illness. Today, the Xinhua 40-MW PV-powered Poverty Alleviation Power Station rents about four hectares of land from her at an annual rate of 1,800 RMB/hectare. From the summer of 2017, she began doing less-demanding tasks such as grass clearing at the station, and she was surprised that she had earned a total of 4,000 – 5,000 RMB by the end of the year. Moreover, with other subsidies directed at poverty alleviation, her income for that year exceeded 10,000 RMB.
About 1,600 households are reaping rewards from this PV power station, each household earning 3,000 RMB per year from the PV-powered Poverty Alleviation Policy. This has helped nearly 40% of the poor households in the town of Houyanji break the chains of poverty. As is apparent, the locals have truly experienced the benefits and improvements brought about by the power station.
The Xinhua 40-MW PV-powered Poverty Alleviation Power Station in Yuncheng was connected to the grid in March of 2017. Located in the town of Houyanji, it is well-endowed with about 2,600 hours of sunlight per year. This station is part of the first national-level poverty alleviation project in Shandong, and from the outset, it has been a symbiotic PV power station. PV panels have been installed atop greenhouses inside which are organically grown fruits and vegetables. At the station’s outdoor cultivation areas such Chinese medicinal herbs are grown as Lycopus lucidus and chrysanthemums. There are now 173 PV greenhouses in this area, and it is thus in the early stages of becoming a model of integration of PV power, the agriculture industry, and poverty alleviation.
The government’s focus on PV-powered poverty alleviation is evident. As a leader in the green, clean energy industry, GCL long ago made PV-powered poverty alleviation one of its main directions in development.
GCL has built PV-powered poverty alleviation power stations that aid nearly 38,000 poor families and has committed to working on poverty alleviation for 20 years with a budget of RMB 2.07 billion. The GCL Poverty Alleviation Model that integrates PV-powered poverty alleviation with the agriculture industry incorporates the development of power station areas into the existing local economy, propelling symphonized development for the primary, secondary, and tertiary industries in rural areas. This will create a self-sustainable poverty-alleviation mode to help those in rural areas thoroughly break the chains of economic hardship.
According to GCL Vice Chairman Zhu Yufeng, “PV-powered poverty alleviation is a new path that integrates industry, ecological protection, and clean energy in aiding the poor. On the same piece of land being hit by the same rays of the sun, people’s incomes are increasing and rural areas are being reinvigorated through the organic integration of PV power, the agricultural industry, and poverty alleviation. In this way, GCL is making the most of the sunlight and the land.”
Below are some GCL projects of poverty alleviation, GCL 117-MW PV-powered Poverty Alleviation Power Station in Funan County, Anhui; GCL 40-MW Symbiotic PV Power Station in Tianchang City, Anhui; Tianlike 25-MW Symbiotic PV Power Station in Changjiang County, Hainan; Xinyuan 15-MW Symbiotic PV Power Station in Funing County, Jiangsu; GCL 117-MW PV-powered Poverty Alleviation Power Station in Funan County, Anhui; Xinhua 40-MW PV-powered Poverty Alleviation Power Station in Yuncheng County, Shandong and etc.