Tracking the Chinese CSP market

By Xavier Lara

China, like America or Australia, is a place where things come in big helpings. The country is home to the world’s largest radio telescope, dam and wind farm project, to name but a few records. So it is hardly any surprise that China has big plans for CSP, too.

At Pacific Green Solar Technologies, we believe the country’s immediate pipeline of projects could amount to anything up to 1.4 GW of capacity, which if realized could make the country one of the world’s top three CSP markets before the end of this decade.

That’s not bad going for a country that came late into the CSP game. A decade ago, China had still not dabbled in CSP technology, despite having a world lead in photovoltaics and excellent irradiation conditions for solar thermal power in the high desert plateaus north of the Himalayas.

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DNI China

Direct Normal Irradiation in China - © 2019 The World Bank, Source: Global Solar Atlas 2.0, Solar resource data: Solargis.

In 2016, the Chinese authorities decided the time was right to embrace CSP. The country’s 13th Five Year Plan contained a target of 5 GW of CSP, to be installed by 2020. Of this, 1.3 GW was due to come online by 2018, spread across 20 demonstration projects with feed-in tariff support.

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