Thermal energy storage refers to a technology that helps in stocking thermal energy by cooling or heating a storage medium so that this energy can be used later when required for power generation and cooling and heating applications. The tremendously increasing fuel prices and increasing greenhouse emissions are some of the primary reasons for the increasing efforts to employ the systems effectively, which will help in generating energy by means of renewable sources.
In 2013, the global thermal energy storage market was worth US$0.6 bn and is anticipated to reach a value of US$1.8 bn by the end of 2020. The growing need for reliable and efficient electricity is projected to drive the global market, which is expected to register a substantial 16.70% CAGR between 2014 and 2020.
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Development of Latent Heat Storage to Benefit Global Thermal Energy Storage Market
The growing demand for access to reliable and price-competitive electricity, deferral of distribution upgrades and transmission with the help of thermal energy storage, and increase in variable energy sources are some of the factors that are estimated to fuel the growth of the market in the coming years. In addition, latent heat storage is proceeding as a potential application segment of the global market for thermal energy storage. However, grid interconnections and high upfront investment are some of the barriers hampering the growth of the market.
The global market for thermal energy storage can be segmented on the basis of technology into latent heat, thermochemical heat, and sensible heat. Among these, the sensible heat segment is used widely across the globe, owing to which this segment is expected to lead the overall market in the next few years. Nevertheless, the high energy density of latent heat and thermochemical heat technologies is estimated to assist these segments in registering a high growth rate in the next few years. Furthermore, the global market for thermal energy storage can be classified on the basis of end use into residential, commercial and industrial, and utilities. In 2013, the commercial and industrial segment dominated the overall thermal energy storage market owing to the rising need for a backup power supply.
Europe to Dominate Global Thermal Energy Storage Market between 2014 and 2020
The global market for thermal energy storage can be divided on the basis of geography into Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World. In 2013, Europe led the overall market and is projected to remain in the top position in the next few years. This region is estimated to add around 1,307.0 MW of thermal energy storage capacity by the end of 2020. The high number of regions that have not yet invested in thermal energy storage, or have just started to do so, is anticipated to augment the growth of the market in the next few years.
The major players operating in the global market for thermal energy storage include Baltimore Aircoil Company, EVAPCO, Inc., FAFCO Thermal Storage Systems, TAS Energy, Caldwell Energy, Steffes Corporation, Abengoa Solar, S.A., BrightSource Energy, Inc., Burns & McDonnell, Goss Engineering, Inc., Ice Lings, CALMAC, and Chicago Bridge & Iron Company.