Thermal Focus, a Beijing-based company, is dealing with Australia's CSIRO for a patented solar power technology. (Photo : Getty Images)
A licensing deal comprising a concentrated solar power technology is going on between Beijing-based solar company Thermal Focus and Australia's CSIRO.
Concentrated solar power involves the use of mirrors to focus and then amass the sun's energy which is stored in molten nitrate salts in thermal tanks. This produces superheated steam which can move turbines that will generate electricity.
CSIRO's design uses heliostats and a software that controls the direction of the solar energy. Heliostats are smaller mirrors, approximately five square meters in size.
According to a Sydney Moring Herald report, the licensing agreement between CSIRO and Thermal Focus included a technology transfer payment with recurring royalties for the quantity of heliostats installed.
The deal was reported to be signed at the three-day Asia-Pacific Solar Research Conference at the Australian National University which started on Nov. 28.
A spokesman from CSIRO said that there is a competition among groups in China who are bidding separately for supply for their solar power plants.
Estimates showed that the heliostat market in China will amount to around $8 billion by 2020.
Wei Zhu from Thermal Focus said that the company, which would likely to place its first concentrated solar power project in the Inner Mongolia desert region, has a long-term aim of having 15 percent, or $1.2 billion, of that market in China.
John Grimes of the Australian Solar Council, who commented that China is a world leader in renewable energy market, also said that China's move was somewhat due to environmental concerns, cost effectiveness and air-quality issues.