According to a recent report published by Pike Research, increasing interest in thermal storage systems (TES) could be seen in the coming years in the US.
Currently, installed solar thermal capacity in the US is 2.7 GW, which is expected to increase up to 7.2 GW by 2020 (i.e. approximately, a tripling of today’s capacity), according to Pike Research. The annual US market for thermal energy storage capacity accounts for $268 million, with 246 MW of new capacity installed in 2011, particularly in five market segments (i.e. packaged air conditioning, chiller thermal energy storage systems, district energy, residential heat energy storage, and commercial heat TES).
“With the exception of pumped hydroelectric storage, which dwarfs the installed capacity of all other commercially available energy storage technologies, TES is currently the most common form of storage available,” says research director Kerry-Ann Adamson. “Although other storage media, especially batteries, are expected to grow significantly faster than TES, TES revenue will continue to increase with global revenue from new TES installations forecast to surpass $3.5 billion by 2020.”
As per the Pike Research forecast, the thermal energy storage market in Europe is expected to see the strongest growth because of EU’s heavy emphasis on energy efficiency initiatives and increase in volatile renewable energy generation, which is anticipated to continue.
Thermal energy storage is not a new concept and has been used for centuries. TES offers great advantages. It reduces the time or rate mismatch between energy supply and energy demand, and it plays an important role in energy conservation. Storage improves the performance of a power generating plant by load levelling. The higher efficiency would lead to higher conservation and improve cost effectiveness.
Image: US NARA/Wikimedia Commons
The views presented in the above article are the author’s personal views only.
Mridul Chadha currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.