Headline: Chinese CSP for the world?

For three consecutive five-year plans since 2006, China has worked on building up an internationally competitive CSP industry and value chain. One big milestone in commercializing proprietary Chinese CSP technology was the 2016 demonstration program of 20 commercial-scale projects. China sought to increase and demonstrate capacities for domestic CSP technology development and deployment. At the end of the 13th five-year period, we take stock of the demonstrated progress of the Chinese CSP industry towards delivering internationally competitive CSP projects. We find that in January 2021, eight commercial-scale projects, in total 500 MW, have been completed and three others were under construction in China. In addition, Chinese EPC’s have participated in three international CSP projects, although proprietary Chinese CSP designs have not been applied outside China. The largest progress has been made in molten-salt tower technology, with several projects by different companies completed and operating successfully: here, the aims were met, and Chinese companies are now at the global forefront of this segment. Further efforts for large-scale demonstration are needed, however, for other CSP technologies, including parabolic trough - with additional demonstration hindered by a lack of further deployment policies. In the near future, Chinese companies seek to employ the demonstrated capabilities in the tower segment abroad and are developing projects using Chinese technology, financing, and components in several overseas markets. If successful, this will likely lead to increasing competition and further cost reductions for the global CSP sector.

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Academic Articles

Thonig, R., Gilmanova, A., Zhan, J., & Lilliestam, J. (2022). Chinese CSP for the world? AIP conference proceedings, 2445, 050007-1-050007-11. doi:10.1063/5.0085752.

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