18th October 2018: The worldwide thermal energy storage market is estimated to touch USD 12.5 billion by 2025, according to a report by Grand View Research, Inc. Thermal energy storage (TES) is a technology used to store heat energy. This technology allows companies to utilize the energy during winter or summer. It can even store energy from alternative sources such as biomass, sun, wind, and tides. TES can accumulate energy using technologies such as miscibility gap alloy (MGA) technology, solar energy storage, molten salt technology, ice-based technology, and electric thermal storage heaters. Major end users are residential, commercial, industrial, and utility sectors.
The reduced dependence on fossil fuels has led to the development of various alternative energy plants. TES is being increasingly used in concentrating solar power (CSP) plants to accumulate energy. For instance, the Crescent Dunes project in Nevada uses TES to power up nearly 75,000 homes during peak hours. Research on phase change materials is being undertaken due to its capacity to store more energy than sensible heat storage technology.
Energy manufacturers are capitalizing on Internet of Things (IoT) in order to control the demand and supply of energy at peak hours. IoT can be used in gathering accurate weather data and predict the lows and highs in energy storage systems. Contingency plans can be created to ensure savings of energy expenses and provide comfort during peak times. Software behemoths such as Google, Apple, and Facebook are also adopting a renewable energy generation method for their needs. This trend can influence various industrial players in pursuing the same route.
The thermal energy storage market is expected to grow at a healthy rate from 2014 to 2025 (forecast phase) owing to the demand for cost-efficient energy sources. The increasing demand from countries such as the U.S., Brazil, and Saudi Arabia and government policies encouraging renewable technologies are expected to bode well for market growth. The rise in electric vehicle infrastructure, establishment of smart grids, and demand for uninterrupted power supply is anticipated to open up new avenues for growth. Key market players include Dunham-Bush Holding Bhd., Abengoa Solar S.A., Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. (CB&I), and Ice Energy.