China, a tremendous CSP market potential with billions of investment

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The year of 2018 witnessed the rapid growth of CSP industry in China. According to data from CSP Focus, three demonstration CSP projects with a total capacity of more than 200 MW were completed and connected to the grid, arming China with three large-scale commercial CSP plants in operation in one year.

In 2018, China completed a total capacity of 215 MW CSP projects, almost 7 times of the 30 MW capacity made before 2018. China has become the No.5 country owning the biggest CSP capacity, and the most popular emerging CSP market with Morocco by contributing 23% of the new capacity in the world.

Looking at the global CSP market, nearly 1 GW CSP plants have been newly built up, of which Morocco contributed with 350 MW (200 MW from NOOR 2 and 150 from MW NOOR 3), China with 215 MW (three 1st batch of demonstration CSP projects and one 15 MW Fresnel CSP plant), South Africa installed 200 MW (100 MW, Ilanga CSP1 and 100 MW, Kathu Solar One), Israel contributed with the 121-MW Ashalim tower CSP project, and Saudi Arabia with the Waad Al-Shamal ISCC 50-MW CSP plant.

Coming to the year of 2019 for China, and looking at the 17 of demonstration projects: six projects with a total capacity of 350 MW are under construction and hopefully to be completed by the end of this year. One project, Shenzhen Jinfan Akesai 50 MW molten salt PT Project, was stopped construction due to some financial problem and the other 10 projects totaling 749 MW are now still under development, pending with little progress, mainly because of financial or internally political obstacles.

Other CSP commercial plants like Luneng 50 MW tower project are also under smooth development. Some industry sources predict that around 600 MW of CSP plants will be completed in this year. With no doubt, China is expected to lead the new CSP market.

As announced and provided by China National Energy Administration two years ago in 2016, only those pilot projects which would be able to be completed by the end of 2018 could enjoy the FiT of RMB1.5 per kWh. New price policy for the others hasn’t been published officially yet till now, however, as CSP Focus reported earlier, the latter projects will be completed, the lower price will be awarded.

At the same time, the 2nd batch of CSP pilot projects is always under great expectation. The practical operation of the completed three CSP demos is one of the key factors for the government to decide on the 2nd batch of demos, it is a quite crucial mission and responsibility for the project developers and O&Ms to continuously optimize the operation.

Source: CSP Focus