Thermal Energy Storage Market Size To Touch USD 53.4 Bn By 2030

The global thermal energy storage market size accounted for US$ 25.94 billion USD in 2022, grew to US$ 28.39 billion USD in 2023, and will reach US$ 53.4 billion USD in 2030, with a CAGR of 9.45% from 2022 to 2030.

The growth of the global thermal energy storage market is supported by the growing demand for electricity during busy hours, increasing business orientation of CSP plants, and rising demand for heating & cooling applications for advanced infrastructure.

The global thermal energy storage market size accounted for US$ 25.94 billion USD in 2022, grew to US$ 28.39 billion USD in 2023, and will reach US$ 53.4 billion USD by 2030, with a CAGR of 9.45% from 2022 to 2030.

Key Points:

➢ By technology, the sensible storage segment has accounted 84.8% of market share in 2021.

➢ By storage material, the molten salt segment is poised to grow at a CAGR of 9.3%.

➢ By application, power generation segment has captured market share of 60% in 2021.

➢ By end user, the industrial segment has held 40% of the total market share in 2021.

➢ The Europe region has held 37.6% of the total market share in 2021.

Regional Snapshots

European installed CSP capacity is estimated to increase from 2.3 GW in 2017 to 4 GW by 2030, based on the market design and current costs. Efforts of European nations to fulfill carbon reduction targets, transformation from coal-fired power generation, and equivalent hike in renewable energy production will encourage the case for dispatchable CSP plants with storage.

Highlights of the Thermal Energy Storage Market

➢ On the basis of technology, the form of sensible heat is expected to have the largest market share. The most widely used hood storage medium is molten salt which has innumerable commercial and industrial applications.

➢ On the basis of the storage material, the molten salts are the commonly used storage media which has higher boiling points and high volumetric heat capacity.

➢ On the basis of the end user, the utility segment is expected to be the largest contributor during the forecast. The storage of thermal energy in these tanks is done with the use of ice or chilled water technology.

Market Dynamics of Thermal Energy Storage Market

Drivers: The decarbonization process of the energy sector and depletion of carbon production with a view to cap the global climate alterations are some of the top goals for the governments, energy authorities, and industries worldwide. Accelerated utilization of renewables, clubbed with electrification and rising energy efficiency of electric grid, can be estimated to achieve over 90% of the energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reductions required. Due to a recovery in the hydropower sector, generation growth resumed to its long-term trend. Solar generation aims to grow strongly; in 2018, solar overpowered bioenergy to come out as the third largest source of renewable electricity generation.

Thermal energy storage stocks solar thermal energy by heating or cooling a storage medium like rocks, water, sand and molten salt, with a view to use the stocked energy at a later stage for cooling and heating applications and power generation. Thermal energy storage is an integral part for electricity storage in concentrating solar power plants in which solar heat is stored for producing electricity when sunlight is missing. This promotes continuous operations of concentrated solar power plants. Some of the advanced CSP thermal energy storage technologies include two-tank indirect system, two-tank direct system and single-tank thermocline system. The benefits of thermal energy storage in CSP plants involve increase in overall efficiency, reductions in investment, better reliability, running costs, and economical operations. It decreases the emission of carbon dioxide. Thus, combining of thermal energy storage in CSP plants is foreseen to drive the market growth.

Restraints: Competition between battery storage and pumped-storage proves to be a restraining factor for the market growth.

From two of the solutions available, being able to differentiate between the costs of battery and thermal energy storage, is vital for industries and power plant operators as far as deployment in the near future is considered. Choosing of the most suitable technology guarantees that the installation supports a commercial facility to utilise electricity in as cost-effective manner as possible. Batteries are used for supplying backup power for elevators, lighting and computers, on the other hand thermal energy storage is the easiest way of decreasing electric demand. Air conditioning market stands upto a third of energy costs in summer season and it can be very inefficient and costly to store energy in a battery just to have it converted yet again to generate instant cooling. On the other hand, the entire building load cannot be supported with only thermal storage.

Maximum battery storage projects that system operators (ISOs/RTOs) develop provide short-term energy storage and are not fit to replace the traditional grid. Lithium-ion batteries, which supply enough energy to shoot up the local grid for around 4 hours or less. These applications are used to provide relief to the energy grid in peak hours, for reliability and to integrate renewables.

Battery storage and pumped-hydro storage are considered over thermal energy storage due to their lower efficiency on the basis of economy. Thus, these alternatives act as obstacles to the growth of the thermal energy storage market.

Opportunity: Decentralization of renewable energy sector proves to be an opportunity. The deployment of decentralized renewable energy is encouraging a disrupting shift of the energy sector. The speedy development of decentralized renewable energy technologies is estimated to change the design of the energy sector in the direction of a multi-operator set-up where large utilities interact as far as captive consumers and mini-utilities are concerned. Power has been provided to 30% of the people who have gained access to electricity since 2000 through renewable energy which is distributed through the grid, mini-grids and off-grid installations. To gain 100% electrification by 2030, the contribution of decentralized renewable energy share will require to grow significantly.

Self-consumption, application of distributed storage and industrial bulk consumption will yield profits for both end users and the power system in a broader picture. Hence, thermal energy storage technology is estimated to gain opportunities in the forecast period.

Challenges: Costly initial set-up rates varying with technology proves to be a challenge for the market growth.

The total cost of thermal energy storage technologies lies on size, application and thermal insulation technology. Costs of thermo-chemical storage-based thermal storage systems and phase change material are commonly higher in comparison to the cost of storage capacity they supply. The cost of storage systems includes approximately 30% to 40% of the total system cost. Subsequent research into energy storage technologies to calm down the upfront economical requirement is estimated to make thermal energy storage technologies more competitive in the forecast period.

Thermal Energy Storage Supply and Demand

The most common example of load balancing is in solar energy systems. The solar energy is stored during the day and used during the night or in the early hours of the day, in individual households or at a district heating level. Thermal Energy Storage in district heating and cooling systems serves as a reserve of thermal energy, which can be used to supply heat or cooling load in times of peak demand or in times of high electricity prices – when heat is produced through electric heaters or heat pumps. When heat is produced through CHP plants and electricity prices are low, on the other hand, the heat demand can be covered by using TES.

In the upcoming years, if CHP plants are required to operate, because there is not enough renewable energy power into the system, and there is no heat demand at that moment, TES allows the CHP plant to operate, recovering the heat at the same time (See the CHP flexibility throught TES video). These differences between supply and demand can be smoothed out by TES, which can provide several benefits for the systems; such as reducing the size of generators capacity, reducing thermal supply costs and integrating other hot/cold sources -whose availability varies over time (Dinçer, 2011). The problems of mismatch between supply and demand during individual days can be handled by TES. This also works for longer periods of time, for example within months (seasonal storage). During individual days, TES can be operated in several ways (Load Shift & Save®, u.d.):

Increase of Energy Efficiency

Another important benefit provided to the energy systems by using thermal energy storage is the increase of energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is achieved by storing heat (which otherwise would be released into the environment) and then useing it when needed, e.g. in district heating systems. This way, less fossil-fuel is required andplant emissions are reduced, which leads to a reduction inproduct costs as well.

Useful waste or surplus thermal energy is available from many sources. Some examples are (i) hot/cold water drained to a sewer, (ii) hot flue gases, (iii) exhaust air streams, (iv) hot or cold gases or waste gases, (v) heat collected from solar panels, (vi) ground source thermal energy, (vii) heat rejected from the condensers of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, and (viii) the cooling effect from the evaporator of a heat pump (Dinçer, 2011).

However, TES alone cannot provide these benefits. It needs to be assisted by intelligent control systems and information and communication technologies (ICT) in order to contribute to better energy management, for example in recovering industrial waste heat. A good example of this is the demonstrator RO1, where the heat tank is managed with the help of IT infrastructure.

Another possibility to increase efficiency is in cooling systems, when using TES together with chillers during the night (at an off-peak period), and due to the different ambient temperatures at which they work, chillers can enhance their performance. This leads in a reduction of the plant’s electric consumption. Also, the increase in the number of operational hours of the equipment reduces capital costs. Furthermore, by using this combination of technologies, the chiller needed capacity is as well reduced (Dinçer, 2011).

Top Players Listed: 

BrightSource Energy Inc., SolarReserve LLC, Caldwell Energy, Cryogel, Steffes Corporation, Abengoa SA, Terrafore Technologies LLC, Ice Energy, Baltimore Aircoil Company

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