Global Thermal Energy Storage Market: Snapshot
The concerns regarding surging fuel prices and the glaring ill effects of greenhouse gas emissions are necessitating the efforts to effectively employ renewable energy sources across the globe. The demand for advanced energy technologies is increasing due to depleting energy resources, coupled with a continuous rise in energy consumption. Advanced energy technologies help reduce the consumption of energy and increase energy supply by effectively utilizing renewable energy sources.
However, most renewable energy sources (solar and wind) are intermittent in nature. As a result, thermal energy storage (TES) technology is now being utilized effectively across the globe. For more than a decade, TES technologies have been used to store energy. These technologies are also used to shift peak energy use into off-peak hours. Applications of these technologies can range from seasonal storage of solar energy at high temperature levels to heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) at low temperature levels.
The global market for thermal energy storage is highly concentrated in nature, with a few players occupying a significant share in the market. The future growth of this technology will depend on the regulatory structure in various potential country-wide markets across the globe. Rising at a healthy CAGR of 16.70% during the forecast period of 2014 to 2020, the global market for thermal energy storage is estimated to reach a valuation of US$1.8 bn by 2020.
Sensible Heat Segment Remains Dominant
In terms of installed capacity of thermal energy storage, sensible heat is currently the most prominent market segment by technology. In 2015, sensible heat accounted for a revenue of US$590.3 mn in the global thermal energy storage market. Although sensible heat will continue to be hold a significant position in the market during the forecast period, this segment is likely to lose market share by 2020. This is because sensible heat storage media have a low storage capacity per volume of the storage media. Additionally, the non-isothermal behavior of the material during heat storage and heat releasing processes will result in the decreasing market share of sensible heat storage over the forecast period.
However, advancements in thermal energy storage technology such as latent heat and thermochemical storage have led to a decrease in the share of sensible heat storage technology in the capacity installation mix. The ability of latent heat storage systems to provide density is the primary reason behind their increasing usage worldwide.
Other Regions Catching Up to North America’s Market Size
Valued at US$289.6 mn, North America accounted for the leading share in the market for thermal energy storage in 2015, and is expected to remain the dominant region. Nevertheless, Asia Pacific is estimated for the most robust CAGR through 2020. North America is a relatively mature market characterized by low regulatory framework for thermal energy storage technologies. Recent and ongoing improvements in solar thermal generation technologies, along with the increasing demand for renewable energy sources in the region, are expected to create additional interest in thermal energy storage technologies in the near future.
The market for concentrated solar plants is relatively mature in North America. Additional installation of concentrated solar plants would create several growth opportunities for thermal storage systems in the near future. Concentrated solar plants with thermal energy storage technologies can shift power generation to hours when solar resources are not available. This can provide backup power during nighttime or when it is cloudy. The sensible heat storage market holds a considerable portion of the overall technologies installed in the region.
Some of the key players in the global thermal energy storage market are CALMAC, EVAPCO, Inc., Chicago Bridge & Iron Company (CB&I), and Goss Engineering, Inc.