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Identifying and addressing drivers and barriers to construct solar thermal power plant in Mongolia

Ser-Od, Buyanjargal (2014) Identifying and addressing drivers and barriers to construct solar thermal power plant in Mongolia. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Having an adequate energy supply is a crucial issue in encouraging and maintaining the sustainable economic growth of the country. Due to the development of mining activities, the expected electricity demand of the Gobi region of Mongolia is expected to reach 650 MW in 2020. Thus, it will be necessary to construct a number of new power plants in the Gobi region of Mongolia because the current installed capacity cannot meet the current peak load and the amount of electricity imported from Russia is constantly increasing.

This dissertation focuses on identifying the feasibility of constructing solar thermal power plants in the Gobi region of Mongolia. Moreover, drivers and barriers for constructing solar thermal power plants and possible mitigation measures are discussed in this thesis.

The current situation and future perspectives of Mongolian energy sector, Mongolian renewable energy resources and its applications, and development of solar thermal power technology in the world are studied and reviewed within the scope of work of this thesis.

Technical and economic analysis on parabolic trough CSP and central receiver CSP are undertaken using the System Advisor Model software for performing preliminary analysis of varies renewable energy technologies.

According to the findings of these studies, a 50 MW parabolic trough CSP with 2 hours of thermal energy storage is considered the most suitable option in Gobi region of Mongolia in terms of the maturity and economic characteristics in comparison with other CSP technologies.

In order to implement a 50MW parabolic trough CSP in Mongolia, it is necessary to consider drivers and barriers, and mitigation measures for dealing with the barriers. An abundant solar resource in the Gobi region of Mongolia, renewable energy legality and policy, and the necessity of constructing new power plants in the Gobi region are considered as the main drivers. On the other hand, there are barriers for implementing CSP such as high initial capital cost, and the lack of professional workers. However, it is possible to mitigate these barriers by using Clean Development Mechanism funding formulated in the Kyoto Protocol and preparation of professional workers by vocational training offered by TAFE colleges and universities. Moreover, there are also further potential cost reductions in CSP technologies expected through technological and efficiency improvement measures.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Pryor, Trevor
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