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Scaling up concentrating solar thermal technology in China


  • Li, Jun


More than 1300 GW new generating capacity will be added in China's power sector over the period 2005-2030 under the BAU scenario in [1], even higher than the total installed capacity in the United States to date. China's industrial and service sectors are expected to maintain rapid development rate over the next decades, driving up the demand for electric power and heat. However, China's power and industrial process heat generation are heavily relying upon coal-fired thermal power plants resulting in tremendous rise in greenhouse gas emissions. Clean technology such as concentrating solar thermal (CST) needs to play a more important role in power and heat generation in China to accelerate the decarbonisation in the power sector and commercial and industrial process heat generation cost-effectively. This paper attempts to explore the opportunity and challenge of development and deployment of CST in China from both technical and socioeconomic analysis perspectives. It is argued that rapid deployment of CST in China will contribute to enabling sustainable energy supply and environmental securities, as well as improved economic performance in new technology innovation in Asia Pacific area over the next decades. Supportive policy framework should be set up to encourage scaling up CST industry. The success of deployment of CST technology will also allow Chinese power and heat generators to strengthen their competitiveness in the context of intensified global constraint of carbon emissions. Institutional innovation and policy instruments for scaling up this technology and the enabling conditions of successful implementation are also investigated.

Suggested Citation

  • Li, Jun, 2009. "Scaling up concentrating solar thermal technology in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 13(8), pages 2051-2060, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:13:y:2009:i:8:p:2051-2060

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nemet, Gregory F., 2006. "Beyond the learning curve: factors influencing cost reductions in photovoltaics," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 3218-3232, November.
    2. Jaffe, Adam B. & Stavins, Robert N., 1994. "The energy paradox and the diffusion of conservation technology," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 91-122, May.
    3. Li, Jun, 2008. "Towards a low-carbon future in China's building sector--A review of energy and climate models forecast," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1736-1747, May.
    4. Kroeze, Carolien & Vlasblom, Jaklien & Gupta, Joyeeta & Boudri, Christiaan & Blok, Kornelis, 2004. "The power sector in China and India: greenhouse gas emissions reduction potential and scenarios for 1990-2020," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 55-76, January.
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