The global Thermal Energy Storage Market size is projected to reach USD 369 million by 2025, at a CAGR of 14.4%, from an estimated USD 188 million in 2020. The growth of the thermal energy storage market is majorly driven by increasing demand for energy storage technologies, rising number of CSP projects, and increasing HVAC applications.
Thermal energy storage in concentrating solar power (CSP) plants can help in overcoming the intermittency of the solar resource and also reduce the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) by utilizing power for extended periods of time. TES systems can collect energy during sunshine hours and store it in order to shift its delivery to a later time or to facilitate plant output during cloudy weather conditions. Hence, the operation of a solar thermal power plant can be extended beyond periods of no solar radiation without the need to burn fossil fuels. Energy storage not only reduces the mismatch between supply and demand but also improves the performance and reliability of energy systems and plays an important role in conserving energy.
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Thermal energy storage systems are incorporated in electric utility plants as a viable demand-side management option. These systems use ice or chilled water technologies for storing thermal energy in tanks during utility off-peak hours. This helps to meet the peak demand with fewer power plants by shifting customer’s power demand to off-peak hours. Many utilities currently offer time-of-day pricing to their customers and sell power at a lower price during off-peak hours.
Molten salts are the most commonly used storage media for thermal energy storage as these have higher boiling points and high volumetric heat capacities. When energy is needed, the salt is pumped into a steam generator that boils water, spins a turbine, and generates electricity.
Thermal energy storage, in the form of sensible heat, is based on the specific heat of a storage medium, which is kept in storage tanks with high thermal insulation. The most widely used and commercial heat storage medium is molten salt, which has a number of commercial and industrial applications. Moten salts exhibit excellent thermal properties and have been used in more than 50% of the operational thermal energy projects to date. Also, sensible heat storage technology is the most cost-efficient when it comes to economies of scale.
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Europe is expected to be the largest Thermal Energy Storage Market. According to the IRENA, Europe’s installed CSP capacity is predicted to rise from 2.3 GW in 2017 to 4 GW by 2030, based on the market framework and current costs. Attempts of European nations to meet carbon reduction targets, shift from coal-fired power generation, and simultaneous hike in renewable energy generation will also support the case for dispatchable CSP plants with storage.
The key players in the Thermal Energy Storage Market include companies such as Abengoa Solar (Spain), Burns & McDonnell (US), BrightSource Energy (US), Calmac (US), and SolarReserve (US).