Centenary of the State Commission for the Electrification of Russia (GOELRO)

State Commission for the Electrification of Russia is the authority established on February 21, 1920 to develop the project of the electrification of Russia upon the October Revolution of 1917. Its Russian abbreviation, GOELRO, is often understood as the State Plan of the Electrification of Russia, i.e., the product of the GOELRO Commission, which was the first economy development strategy approved and implemented in Russia upon the revolution.

GOELRO Plan played a huge role in the life of our country: Without it, the USSR would hardly manage to take the technological lead and become one of the highest economically developed countries in such a short timeframe. In fact, the implementation of that project formed the entire Russian economy, and it is still determining its development to a large extent now.

Developing and implementing the GOELRO Plan were possible outright thanks to the combination of many objective and subjective factors, such as the considerable industrial and economic capacity of pre-revolutionary Russia, the high level of the Russian scientific and technical school, the centralization of the entire economic and political power and of its strength and will, and the traditional joint and communal mentality of the people and their compliant and trust-based relation to supreme rulers.

GOELRO Plan and its implementation have proven the high efficiency of the national planning system within the context of a highly centralized authority and predetermined the development of that system for decades to come.

Sacrifices tempered by the Soviet people for implementing the GOELRO Plan were really huge. Forget about your daily needs for the posterity – that was the message of the system that had borne the Plan and ensured its implementation.

This material was prepared using the information from article titled GOELRO PLAN: MYTHS AND REALITY by V. Gvozdetsky, Head of the Department of Engineering and Science History at the Vavilov Institute for the History of Natural Science and Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences.           

Source: Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation