The China Solar Thermal 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 150 accumulated member in the alliance, covering the key aspects of the entire solar thermal power generation and solar medium and low temperature application 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.