Headline: Building an internationally competitive concentrating solar power industry in China: lessons from wind power and photovoltaics

This article draws lessons from experiences of developing the photovoltaic (PV) and onshore wind power sectors in China for the development of Chinese Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) into an internationally competitive industry. We analyze the sectoral development with a framework that expands on the concept of lead markets, identifying factors that determine whether domestic industrial development paths may or may not generate export success. We find that the Chinese CSP sector has good potential for becoming internationally competitive because of a strong Chinese knowledge base, a clear eye for product quality, standard-setting, and a focus on the high-efficiency and large-storage technological routes most likely to see growing demand in future international markets. Chinese solar towers are already cheaper than international competitors and so far, appear reliable. However, continued and stable deployment support for CSP, designed to reward dispatchable solar power generation, enabling continued domestic learning-by-doing and -interacting is likely required to realize this export potential. To date, Chinese CSP policy has done many things right and, if the domestic market is maintained through renewed support, has put the Chinese industry well on the path to international competitiveness.

Publication Year
2021
Publication Type
Academic Articles
Citation

Gilmanova, A., Wang, Z., Gosens, J., & Lilliestam, J. (2021). Building an internationally competitive concentrating solar power industry in China: lessons from wind power and photovoltaics. Energy sources, Part B: Economics, planning and policy, 16(6), 515-541. doi:10.1080/15567249.2021.1931563.

DOI
10.1080/15567249.2021.1931563
Staff involved
Projects involved
Solar Thermal Power Plants: Generating transformation knowledge with open data (Open CSP) Market uptake of solar thermal electricity through cooperation (MUSTEC)