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A comprehensive analysis on development and transition of the solar thermal market in China with more than 70% market share worldwide

Huang, Junpeng, Tian, Zhiyong, Fan, Jianhua
Energy 2019 v.174 pp. 611-624
heat, market development, market share, markets, research and development, residential housing, solar collectors, solar energy, urban areas, China
China is the second-largest economy country, and the largest country worldwide in total solar energy system capacity installed. More than 70% of total solar collector capacity worldwide is installed in China. The production of solar collector in China had decreased significantly from 64 million m2 in 2012 to 37 million m2 in 2017, corresponding to a reduction of around 40% of the market in 2012. There are very limited comprehensive studies in existing literature, which have investigated the reasons on the decline of Chinese solar thermal market. This study aims to identify the reasons from both the demand and the supply sides in details. Furthermore, with the rise of emerging markets, such as the rapid development of the “Clean Heating Initiative” for space heating in North China, solar heat industrial process, and the mandatory installation of solar domestic hot water system for residential buildings below 100 m in urban area, the Chinese solar thermal market is expected to recover soon, called “U-shaped curve” in this study. The market share of flat plate collector and evacuated tube collector is predicted to change in the near future. The research and development of flat plate solar collectors will increase continually in the market other than evacuated tube solar collectors like the past 10 years. The main driver for the solar thermal market development in China in the near future will be the demand from the urban area.