J. Phys. IV France
Volume 09, Number PR3, March 1999
Proceedings of the 9th SolarPACES International Symposium on Solar Thermal Concentrating Technologies
Page(s) Pr3-217 - Pr3-222
Proceedings of the 9th SolarPACES International Symposium on Solar Thermal Concentrating Technologies

J. Phys. IV France 09 (1999) Pr3-217-Pr3-222

DOI: 10.1051/jp4:1999332

Initial appraisal of solar thermal electric energy in Tibet and Xinjiang provinces, People's Republic of China

L. Junfeng1, Z. Li1, L. Zhan2, Z. Yuan2, B. Washom3 and G. Kolb4

1  Center for Renewable Energy Development, Energy Research Institute, China
2  State Power Company, China
3  Spencer Management Associates, U.S.A.
4  Sandia National Laboratories, SunLAB, U.S.A.

At the request of USA sponsors Spencer Management Associates (SMA) and SunLab, China's Center for Renewable Energy Development and former Ministry of Electric Power conducted an initial appraisal of the issues involved with developing China's first solar thermal electric power plant in the sunbelt regions of Tibet or Xinjiang provinces. The appraisal concerns development of a large-scale, grid-connected solar trough or tower project capable of producing 30 or more megawatts of electricity. Several of the findings suggest that Tibet could be a niche market for solar thermal power because a solar plant may be the low-cost option relative to other methods of generating electricity. China has studied the concept of a solar thermal power plant for quite some time. In 1992, it completed a pre-feasibility study for a SEGS-type parabolic trough plant with the aid of Israel's United Development Limited. Because the findings were positive, both parties agreed to conduct a full-scale feasibly study. However, due to funding constraints, the study was postponed. Most recently, SunLab and SMA asked China to broaden the analysis to include tower as well as trough concepts. The findings of this most recent investigation, completed in November of 1997, are the subject of this paper. The main conclusions of all studies conducted to date suggest that a region in the proximity of Lhasa, Tibet, offers the best near-term opportunity within China. The opportunities for solar thermal power plants in other regions of China were also investigated.

© EDP Sciences 1999