The China National Solar Thermal Energy Alliance(hereinafter referred to as the “Alliance”) was established in October 2009 with the support and promotion of the Coordination and Guidance Group of Cooperation among Enterprises, Universities and Research Institutes based on the Guiding Opinions on Promoting the Building of Industry Technology Innovation Strategic Alliance released by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education, State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, All-China Federation of Trade Unions, and China Development Bank. The Alliance is a technological innovation cooperative organization set up by the relevant enterprises, universities and research institutes in the solar thermal field based on the development needs of enterprises and the common interests of all parties, with a view to enhancing industrial technological innovation capabilities. Supported by a legally binding contract, the Alliance achieves joint development, complementary advantages, benefit sharing, and risk sharing. It is one of the 36 pilot alliances under the Ministry of Science and Technology and one of 26 Class-A alliances (national level).
Oriented to technological innovation needs such as solar thermal power generation, the Alliance is geared to forming the core competitiveness of the industry. With the enterprises as the mainstay, the Alliance centers on the industrial technology innovation chain, and harnesses market mechanisms to gather innovative resources to achieve effective combination of enterprises, universities and research institutions at the strategic level, and make breakthroughs in removing technical bottlenecks in the development of the solar thermal sector.
The Alliance plays a role in organizing, coordinating and serving as a bridge for the research and promotion of solar thermal power generation policy, development of standards, technology research and development, recommendation and management of technology projects, industrial cooperation, popularization and application of achievements, and cooperation and exchange between domestic and foreign parties, thereby providing support and services for technology innovation, industrial development, and government management in the solar thermal sector. At present, there are 74 member units in the alliance, covering the key aspects of the entire solar thermal power generation industry chain from ultra-white glass, parabolic glass reflector, parabolic trough concentrator, heliostats, evacuated tube receiver, tracking driver, tracking controlling system, and molten salt as well as overall system integration and plant engineering construction and etc.. In the first batch of national solar thermal power demonstration projects, the member units of the Alliance account for 55% of the project investment companies, and account for 85% of the technology sources and system integration companies.
As of the government decision-making support, the Alliance mainly carries out the following tasks:
On September 12, 2012, the Department of New Energy and Renewable Energy of the National Energy Administration sent a letter to request the Alliance to carry out the policy research in the solar thermal power generation industry.
On June 4, 2014, the Department of New Energy and Renewable Energy of the National Energy Administration sent a letter to request the China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute, Electric Power Planning and Engineering Institute, and the Alliance to carry out the investigation on the solar thermal power generation equipment capacity;
On June 30, 2014, the Department of New Energy and Renewable Energy of the National Energy Administration invited the Alliance and other units to participate in the seminar on the development of the standard system in the solar energy power generation industry;
On December 16, 2014, the General Affairs Department of the National Energy Administration sent a letter to request the compilation of the 13th Five-Year Plan for the solar power development;
On October 19, 2015, the General Affairs Department of the National Energy Administration sent a letter to entrust China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute, Electric Power Planning and Engineering Institute, and the Alliance to carry out the examination and approval of solar thermal power generation demonstration projects;
On July 3, 2017, the General Affairs Department of the National Energy Administration sent a letter to entrust the China Renewable Energy Engineering Institute, Electric Power Planning and Engineering Institute, and the Alliance to conduct a survey on the progress of solar thermal power demonstration projects;
On August 7, 2017, Deputy Director Liang Zhipeng participated in a seminar on solar thermal power generation demonstration projects organized by the Alliance;
On December 8, 2017, Dr. Wang Zhifeng, executive vice chairman of the Alliance, briefed the deputy director Li Chuangjun on the progress of the solar thermal power demonstration projects;
On December 27, 2017, the Alliance arranged the owners of the first batch of 20 solar thermal power generation demonstration projects to participate in the seminar;
On January 18 and 19, 2018, the Alliance submitted the Report of the China National Solar Thermal Energy Alliance on the Analysis of Problems of China’s Solar Thermal Power Generation Demonstration Projects and Suggestions for Improvement to the Department of New Energy and Renewable Energy of the National Energy Administration and the Department of Price of the National Development and Reform Commission and gave an oral report;
In February 2018, the Alliance arranged the owners of solar thermal power generation demonstration projects to report to the National Energy Administration.
In August 2018, the Alliance made another survey on the progress status of first batch of CSP demonstration projects.
On the front of the organization and management of national science and technology projects, the main tasks of the Alliance include:
In 2014 and 2015, two projects organized and applied by the Alliance, namely the Research and Demonstration of Solar Energy Storage Technology and the Research and Development on Key Technologies of High-quality Solar Energy Absorbing Film and Flat-panel Collector gor the funding from the Ministry of Science and Technology, with the special fund of about 43million yuan in total. As a Class-A alliance, the Alliance is responsible for managing the above projects and organizing the project examination and acceptance and so on.
Moreover, the Alliance has also made good results in the preparation of standards for the Alliance, research on the key generic technologies for solar thermal power generation, building of public technical service platform, building of cooperation and exchange platform, the training of personnel and establishment of models. At the end of 2018, the Alliance released a total of 12 Alliance standards, and more than 10 standards under the study; the Alliance co-funded the generic technology R & D topics on the life assessment of trench-type vacuum tube and the safety evaluation of molten salt system; it awarded the public technology service platform of the Alliance to the IEECAS Solar Thermal Power Generation Testing Center of CAS, and Rayspower Solar Thermal Power Generation Engineering Laboratory (Beijing); it held a total of 7 Sanya International Forums for solar thermal power generation technology, 4 China Solar Thermal Electricity Conferences, 8 Graduate Forums of the Alliance, and more than 10 times of training courses on solar thermal utilization.