Positive changes taking place in China’s CSP industry

In 2017, CSP reached a global installed capacity of 5.1 GW. According to the IEA, that figure is expected to grow to 10 GW by 2022, with almost all new capacity incorporating storage. Worldwide, 23 countries currently have CSP projects. While the largest installed capacities are in the USA and Spain, there are CSP plants in operation or under development in numerous other countries, including the UAE, Egypt, Israel, India, China, South Africa, Chile, Mexico, Australia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. In September 2016, China launched its first batch of CSP pilot projects and although this batch is progressing slower than expected, as CSP Focus reported earlier this year, China’s National Energy Administration has indicated that according to the construction status of the first batch of CSP pilot projects, China will launch a second batch of pilot projects in future.

In recent years, the Chinese CSP industry has made great progress and some positive changes are taking place. Through years of study and practice, China has successfully built commercial CSP plants like the SUPCON 10 MW tower CSP plant and the Shouhang 10 MW molten salt tower CSP plant. The local value chain is maturing and is making a great contribution to several traditional industries including chemicals, iron and steel, engineering and construction.

111 CSP projects with a total capacity of 9 GW took part in the application of China’s first batch of 20 1,349 GW CSP pilot projects in September 2016. Almost 18 months have now passed, however the projects corresponding to this first batch of pilot CSP projects in China are progressing more slowly than expected, and only a few can be completed by the end of 2018. However, we should not pass judgment regarding the future of China’s CSP industry simply from the completion of the first batch of pilot projects. The reason why the government is encouraging the development and construction of these initial pilot CSP projects is to verify the technology and feasibility of CSP project implementation and cultivate a local CSP industrial value chain, as well as to explore and set up a supporting regulatory mechanism. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2018