Upcoming China Concentrating Solar Power Summit to be Held in Beijing

New solar power capacity in China, the world’s top energy user, may quadruple from last year to more than 2.0 gigawatts (GW) this year, an official of the research arm of the National Development and Research Commission (NDRC) said on Friday.

China’s total solar power capacity could reach around 3.0 GW by the end of this year, Li Junfeng, deputy director-general of the Energy Research Institute of the NDRC, told the China Energy Enterprises Summit Forum.

In August, China set unified benchmark grid feed-in power tariffs for solar projects for the first time, a move that analysts said would be positive for solar power developers given a fast falling trend in development costs.

The government has raised its installed solar energy capacity target for 2020 to 50 GW, up from the previous goal of 20 GW, state media have quoted Li as saying.

With the rapid growth of the optoelectronic industry in China, the country’s power generation enterprises have been planning their own thermal power generation projects, which lead to China Concentrating Solar Power Summit in Beijing on December 5, according to CBI China.

In a release on Nov. 8, China said that among the newly encouraged energy resources listed in the Catalog of Guidance of Industrial Structural Adjustment (2011 Version) issued by China’s National Development and Reform Committee (NDRC) in June, concentrating solar power was given priority for growth. In addition, according to the forthcoming 12th Five-Year Plan for Renewable Energy Development, the installed capacity of solar thermal power is expected to reach 1 GW by 2015 and 3 GW by 2020.

It is said that power generation enterprises including the five electricity giants have founded their teams specializing in thermal power generation, some of which have made substantive achievements and have been working on project preparations. According to preliminary statistics, the total capacity of concentrated solar thermal power planned and under construction will exceed 3 GW by 2015.

Although compared to Germany, U.S. and Spain, China still has a long way to go in research and manufacturing of thermal power generation equipment, it has achieved progress in the core technologies of thermal-arrest and light collecting. Today in China, dozens of corporations are not only involved in generation plant and facility building, but also accelerating the development of their distribution capabilities. Since the foundation of the Ordos concentrating solar power generation plant in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, generation projects with a total capacity of nearly 400 MW have sprung up, among which some have doubled their investment to achieve twice as much as the planned capacity to meet the increasing demand. It is estimated that by 2012, the market value of China’s concentrating solar power generation business will exceed RMB 10 billion.

By José Santamarta, http://csp.cbichina.com