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Power Generation and Cumulative Capacity of Solar Thermal Power Plants in China (2017 – 2021)

  • Net electricity generated by Solar Thermal power plants in China reached 1,757.7 GWh in 2021, growing 25.7% YoY

  • During the same year, the cumulative capacity of Solar Thermal power plants in China reached 876.2 MW, growing 39.9% YoY

  • Power generation recorded a historical growth at a CAGR of 130.8% between 2017 and 2021, while the cumulative capacity growth at 140.5% between 2017 and 2021

Power Generation and Cumulative Capacity of Solar Thermal Power Plants in China (2017 – 2021)

Published: December 2021
Source: GlobalData

With the increasing demand for energy, rising levels of pollution, fear of global warming, scarcity of fossil fuels, and increasing levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, many countries opted for sources of clean renewable energy. Several countries signed protocols with pre-defined emission reduction targets. The Paris Agreement is the most recent initiative in this direction, whereby each country voluntarily determined and presented its emission reduction target and pledged to achieve GHG reduction according to this target. Several countries that are party to the Paris Agreement devised plans to reduce conventional power and aid the growth of renewable power to reduce emissions. The main renewable energy sources are Hydro, Geothermal, Wind, Solar, and Biopower. 

Solar Thermal Power, also known as concentrating solar power (CSP), produces electricity by obtaining energy input by concentrating solar radiation and converting it into high-temperature steam or gas to run a turbine or motor engine. Solar energy helps reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for factories where Scope 1 and 2 emission factors are a concern, as this renewable source could be installed on-site and replace energy extracted from conventional sources. 

The global installed solar thermal power capacity increased from 1,106.3 megawatts (MW) in 2010 to 6,596.6 MW in 2020, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.5%. The global installed solar thermal power capacity is expected to reach 14,172.8 MW by 2030. In 2021, the top five regions in the solar thermal power market are Spain, the US, China, South Africa, and Morocco. 

China is the third-largest solar thermal power market, with cumulative wind installed capacity of 876 MW as of 2021, growing at a CAGR of 140.5% during 2017–21. The solar thermal power market in the country generated 1,758 GWh of electricity in 2021, which growing at a CAGR of 130.8% between 2017 and 2021. 

The higher growth witnessed in China is a result of various initiatives launched by the government to push renewable energy. In September 2018, China increased its target for renewables to account for at least 35% of electricity consumption by 2030, according to the revised draft plan from the National Development & Reform Commission. Previously, the government has only set a goal for “non-fossil fuels” to make up 20% of energy use by 2030. 

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