Renewable sources of energy have always been considered a plausible alternative to non-renewable sources of energy. Solar power, as well as thermal, can help reduce the cost of using non-renewable sources of energy and China has already started thinking about it. Climate is a blessing usher upon us, taking care of which is inevitable.
Investing in renewable resources is essential as there are limited non-renewable resources on the planet. Wind energy, solar energy are some sources of energy which are reusable, but the problem is they can work only when there is wind or bright sun.
Concentrated solar power (CSP) is highly expensive can store solar energy for long durations and can provide power supply at the day as well as night. Though it is costly since the heat can be saved, it proves to be less expensive considering the overall performance. If CSP could replace five to twenty percent of planned PV and wind power in Gansu Province and Qinghai Province, it would reduce the operational cost help deal with the fluctuations in energy supply.
CSP can maximize ROI and prove to be beneficial to investors and developers too. It is a long-term benefit, China’s policymakers wish to invest in.
Tsinghua University’s research team has published their report in the Journal of Applied Energy with the title – Economic Justification of concentrating solar power in high renewable energy penetrated power systems.
The government is planning to supply 83% and 104% of energy from VRE in the province of Qinghai and Gansu respectively. While CSP will substitute it by 5% and 20%, this planning by China at NDRC – Energy Bureau - may change the system of power supply.
Prof. Chongqing Kang, and, Associate Professor Ning Zhang has been working on the optimization of the power system. They are aggressively working to power up the two provinces with renewable energy.
When the project is completed, Qinghai may supply about 82.3% of the total demand for electric power, whereas Gansu will provide 104.3% of maximum load. The combined economic benefit of CSP will be 18-30 cents per kilowatt-hour. Though the study is not mature, China has set plans to deploy these resources by 2020.
Specific projects on CSP faced problems at the initial level and did not prove to be successful. However, the researchers are positive about the attainment of goals. Thermal energy storage or TES is a costly affair. Hence CSP will be the new way technology will work in China. The energy requirement for the night is higher than in the day, particularly in big cities. Storage of at least ten hours will be needed for the success of this plan.