How will


break the game

   Our reporter Wang Yichen

  Qinghai Supcon Delingha 50MW Tower Molten Salt Energy Storage CSP Station has been successfully connected to the grid for power generation in December 2018, and it has performed well and has made positive contributions to the local economic and social development.

Photo by our reporter Wang Yichen

  Driving west from Delingha City, Haixi Mongolian-Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai Province, on the vast Gobi Desert, a 200-meter-high heat-absorbing tower and 27,135 solar-thermal heliostats around it form a magnificent solar thermal Power generation "landscape map".

This is the Qinghai Supcon Delingha 50MW Tower Molten Salt Energy Storage CSP Station, one of the first batch of solar thermal power generation demonstration projects in the country. Since its successful grid-connected power generation on December 30, 2018, it has contributed to the local economic and social development. The carbon transition has made a positive contribution.

  At present, my country is accelerating the construction of a "new power system with new energy as the main body". As a mature path to clean power and effectively solve the volatility of new energy power generation, solar thermal power generation (also called solar thermal power generation) will play an important role .

However, in actual development, due to policy and market awareness and other reasons, the scale of CSP has been far behind by photovoltaic power generation.

In the new wave of energy revolution, how will CSP, which has always been "hot", break the situation?

  Can replace thermal power as baseload power supply of power system

  Building a new power system with new energy as the main body is an important starting point for my country to achieve carbon peak and carbon neutrality.

Sun Rui, a senior consultant of the Central Electric Power Planning and Design Institute, pointed out that photovoltaic power generation and wind power generation are restricted by meteorological conditions, and the power generation is intermittent, fluctuating and random, which poses many challenges to the safety of the power system and the reliability of power supply.

He believes that to build a new type of power system, the demand for energy storage capacity is huge, and at the same time more flexible and adjustable power supplies with the characteristics of AC synchronous generators are needed.

  The reporter learned that the principles of CSP and thermal power generation are basically the same, and the back-end technical equipment is exactly the same. The difference is that the former uses solar energy to collect heat, while the latter uses coal, natural gas, etc. to obtain heat.

  Located in the northeast of Bayannaoer City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China Nuclear Longteng Urad Inner Mongolia Urad 100MW Trough CSP Demonstration Power Plant is currently the largest CSP plant in China.

Due to the structural power shortage of the Mengxi Power Grid, there will be a structural power shortage in the evening peak from 6 pm to 10 pm every day. The commissioning of the project has played a great role in alleviating the structural power shortage in the region.

  Yu Ke, general manager of Changzhou Longteng Solar Thermal Technology Co., Ltd., told reporters that the solar thermal generator set is equipped with a heat storage system, and the power generation is stable and reliable. It can realize continuous and stable power generation for 24 hours. It can replace coal-fired power stations as the basic load and improve wind power and photovoltaic power. The proportion of intermittent renewable energy consumption can be used as the basic load power supply for off-grid systems.

At the same time, the unit start-up time and load regulation range are better than coal-fired units, and can deeply participate in power grid peak shaving to ensure efficient use of power grid and power.

In addition, solar thermal power generation can also participate in the primary frequency modulation and secondary frequency modulation of the power system according to the needs of the power load of the grid to ensure the stability of the grid frequency and ensure the safety of the grid.

  Due to the inherent "advantages" of CSP, its "friendliness" to the grid is gradually being recognized.

Jiang Liping, deputy dean of the State Grid Energy Research Institute, pointed out that for the power system, solar thermal power generation is a very good technology. It has the dispatchability of conventional power sources and is also a clean energy source. An important supporting technology for power systems.

  Industry needs continuous policy support

  In September 2016, the National Development and Reform Commission issued the "Notice on the Benchmarking on-grid Tariff Policy for Solar Thermal Power Generation", which approved the benchmark on-grid demonstration power price for solar thermal power generation at RMB 1.15 per kWh.

Subsequently, the National Energy Administration identified the first batch of 20 solar thermal power generation demonstration projects with a total installed capacity of 1.349 million kilowatts.

The determination of demonstration power prices and projects means that CSP has officially launched on a large scale in my country.

  Through the construction and commissioning of the first batch of demonstration projects, my country’s solar thermal power generation related technologies and industries have developed rapidly, but from the industry’s point of view, my country’s solar thermal power generation industry is still at an early stage of development, and the installed capacity of power generation is still small. Renewable energy with zero carbon emissions is often "ignored" by policies and the market, and there are still many bottlenecks in the entire industry.

  Sun Rui believes that the main factor restricting the sustainable development of CSP in my country is the lack of continuity in relevant policies.

He said that the price department of the National Development and Reform Commission only specified the on-grid tariff for grid-connected power generation projects before the end of 2018 in the on-grid tariff for the first batch of demonstration projects approved by the Price Department of the National Development and Reform Commission. There is uncertainty and it is difficult to guarantee the return on investment, so the project construction was abandoned.

  "For another example, the "Several Opinions on Promoting the Healthy Development of Non-aqueous Renewable Energy Power Generation" issued at the beginning of 2020 clarified that new CSP projects will no longer be included in the scope of central fiscal subsidies, and the good development momentum of CSP immediately fell to the bottom. "Sun Rui pointed out that in the initial stage of the development of my country's CSP industry, before the on-grid tariff formation mechanism has completed the market-oriented reform, the cancellation of electricity price subsidies means that market demand has been suppressed.

Production companies have no orders, the production lines invested and constructed are idle, and the company's capital chain is broken, making the industrial chain that has developed in the past 10 years faced difficulties.

  In response, Jin Jianxiang, chairman of Zhejiang Supcon Solar Technology Co., Ltd., said that unclear policies have led to a lack of market development space for CSP in my country, and the cost cannot be continuously reduced through large-scale applications. The CSP industry in its infancy is struggling.

At the same time, he also believes that the current financing environment, land policy, and taxation policy cannot provide strong support for the healthy development of CSP.

  CSP strategic positioning urgently needs to be clarified

  Facing the bottleneck in the development of CSP, Jin Jianxiang suggested that in the "14th Five-Year Plan", the strategic positioning of CSP should be clarified, and a certain installed capacity should be planned. The plan should guide the industry to increase R&D investment, appropriately expand the scale of the industry, and promote the The cost of thermal power generation is gradually decreasing.

At the same time, CSP will continue to be given certain subsidies within a certain period of time to give a reasonable buffer period for CSP at the initial stage to move towards parity.

  As there is no absolute advantage in cost, it is difficult for CSP to achieve large-scale independent development under market conditions in the future.

Jin Jianxiang said that during the "14th Five-Year Plan" period, in areas where the scale of wind power and photovoltaic installations is concentrated and the proportion is rapidly increasing, a batch of "solar thermal + photovoltaic/wind power" multi-energy complementary demonstration projects can be deployed and solar thermal power generation can be used as peak shaving. Means, through the organic integration and integration of multiple energy sources, alleviate the problem of wind and solar consumption, and promote the application of a high proportion of renewable energy.

  In Yu Ke's view, the policy orientation should give full play to the peak shaving characteristics of CSP, guide the construction model of "CSP + photovoltaic/wind power" renewable energy bases, and further promote the construction of source network load storage and multi-energy complementary projects; improve Cross-regional peak-valley time-of-use electricity price policy, and transfer the sales price model to the power source, reflect the basic load and peak shaving value of CSP, and promote the sustainable development of my country's CSP industry.

  He also said that CSP companies should open up and improve the CSP industry chain as soon as possible, speed up the performance verification of localized equipment and materials, improve system integration capabilities and related technology levels, master key core technologies, and promote the construction of the CSP industry service system. , To promote cost reduction and efficiency enhancement, and seize the commanding heights of the international solar thermal industry and related scientific and technological fields.

Wang Yichen