United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Typhoon-proof power grid brings security to millions


    Zhejiang Province is one of the most affected places by typhoons in China. The local power grid prone to typhoon harms reliable power supply, the life and property security of millions. Thus, building a typhoon-proof power grid is a critical move to secure people’s life and social stability, and benefiting the local economic society. The State Grid Wenzhou Electric Power Company (the Company) mobilizes company-wide efforts to build a resilient power grid through improving grid structure and equipment, operation and maintenance, and emergency management, to ensure less blackout and quicker recovery under extreme circumstances such as typhoons, directly benefiting 9.3 million people in Wenzhou.


    It is a concrete response to the 2030 Agenda and SDGs. It mitigates typhoons’ impact on the city and community’s sustainable development by building disaster-proof infrastructure, and developing a systematic technical support plan comprising disaster forecast and early warning, resilient resistance, and post-disaster recovery. Targeted efforts have been made in optimizing the power sources, improving the grid structure, meeting design standards, and deciding key substations, power lines and backup power sources for safety and performance, thus ensuring safety and efficacy. The power grid is managed by villages and towns (units). Accurate diagnosis has been done and optimization plan designed for each unit to boost the power grid’s ROI, to drive the sustainable development of the local economic society while securing power supply.

    Contribution to SDG Implementation

    The practice directly contributes to SDG9 and SDG11, and helps achieve: SDG1 & 2: Reduce agricultural waste and food shortage by stable power supply; SDG3: Ensure stable power supply for medical service; SDG4: Ensure children’s access to reliable electronic learning facilities; SDG7: Cut the use of fossil energy by supplying affordable, reliable energy; SDG8: Ensure stable production even coping with Typhoon; SDG10: Narrow regional inequality for balanced, inclusive growth by reducing Typhoon impact SDG12 and 13: Help the city and community adapt to and mitigate damage caused by climate change.

    Implementation methodologies

    A full life-cycle assessment system with differentiated and targeted approaches is built, based on two coefficients for economic development and disaster, and four indexes for power grid soundness, equipment soundness, resilience and self-recovery, and emergency response. The system is applied in planning and investment, construction, operation and maintenance, emergency response, logistics, data communication, dispatching, and market service. Assessment mechanisms: (1) Evaluate the current Wenzhou power grid and summarize typhoon resistance and fighting experience, extract key indexes for flood control and typhoon resistance, and conduct a quantitative analysis for project review; (2) Add weight to key indexes, identify the weakest spots in typhoon resistance, and build typhoon-resistant capacity by applying the 80/20 Rule; (3) Dynamically adjust the weighting of indexes through applying coefficients for economic development and disaster, give differentiated instructions in power grid planning, construction, operation and maintenance; (4) Realize transition from household-based to region-based assessment, delivering a regional typhoon-proof power grid. Since its launch in September 2019, the project has been rolled out in Wenzhou, engaging over 3,400 employees, over 100 of which cooperate with Tsinghua University and Zhejiang University in technology R&D. RMB 828 million are invested in the main power grid ≥110 KV. Two million KVAh of power transmission capacity are newly installed, and 254.07 km of lines newly built. RMB 1.253 billion are invested in the power distribution network ≤ 35KV, and 346.12 km of new cable installed. Another RMB 6.5 billion is to be invested, and about 10,000 employees to be engaged in construction.


    Historical data reveals higher resistance of the Wenzhou power grid to typhoons, a sharp decrease in citizens affected by power outage, and shorter time for power recovery. Typhoon Saomai (2006) caused blackouts in 2,793 villages of 153 towns and power supply was restored after 20 days. Typhoon Fitow (2012) affected 327,412 households of 824 villages in 21 towns, and restoration took 5 days and nights. Typhoon Lekima (2019) affected 1.247 million households of 436 villages in 75 towns, and restoration took for 3 days and nights. After the project was executed, when Typhoon Hagupit hit in 2020, affecting 1.119 million households, 737 villages in 78 towns, the power distribution network went back work in only 45 hours. The project greatly enhances power grid reliability and increase the power gird’ capability to withstand natural disasters, which is meaningful more to remote mountainous areas with weaker infrastructure and promotes more inclusive social development.

    Factors and Constraints

    Enabling factors: Wenzhou government shows great support and helps the Company pool social resources. The Company provides technologies, engages Tsinghua University and Zhejiang University in technology R&D and sets up laboratories to build a high-tech power grid. Innovations: Built “1248” assessment system and enabled “EPDC” closed-loop management; put in place an urban typhoon-proof dispatching desk as an effective reference for the government to dispatch typhoon-resistant resources. Constraints: Investment of manpower and financial resources, and support of technologies.

    Sustainability and replicability

    The practice has been promoted and replicated across Wenzhou, which turns out to be a great success. An implementation plan has been submitted to State Grid Zhejiang for wider implementation across Zhejiang province, which may later be recommended to State Grid Corporation of China for nationwide application when appropriate. It is sustainable for its assessment system as it is adaptive and flexible and can be applied to regions under different conditions. The planning part, assessment index system and management system together constitute a complete, sustainable closed-loop system. It is replicable for that its system and model can be completely replicated in other countries and regions, and the specific indexes and weightings can be adjusted freely to adapt to local conditions. Through applying relevant technologies and the management model, the project can be implemented in different countries and regions.

    COVID-19 Impact

    The practice is not much affected by COVID-19. It actually even helps control COVID-19 in a way that notifications and information about COVID-19 prevention and control can be transmitted through its information channel, which was originally designed to send typhoon alerts. The practice could significantly enhance the reliability and availability of power supply and protect vulnerable groups with power and other support, which will greatly increase local people’s wellbeing and drive the development of the local economic society, and help the local community better withstand the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

    Contact Name
    Wenzhou Electric Power Company of State Grid Corporation of China
    Geographical coverage


    14 October 2019 (start date)
    31 December 2021 (date of completion)
    Contact Information

    Xue, Publicity Director