Concerns over Greenhouse Gas Emissions to Stir Deployment of Thermal Energy Storage Systems

Thermal energy storage is a process by which thermal energy is accumulated for later use to power commercial and residential structures and industrial units. The primary sources through which thermal power energy is collected are combined heat power plants, peak shaving, and inexpensive electric power. Thermal energy storage also helps minimize energy wastage by sustainable utilization and reduces the energy needs of a facility. The global power production and distribution scenario has been significantly affected by the rising demand for cutting off on greenhouse gas emissions and the development of mixed energy sources in the combined energy mix of global, regional, and local utilities.

According to a report published by Transparency Market Research, the global thermal energy storage market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 16.7% between 2014 and 2020.  The market was valued at US$0.6 bn in 2013 and is expected to rise to US$1.8 bn by the end of 2020.

How is the impending environmental threat likely to augment the adoption of thermal energy storage?

The key factors behind the growing importance of thermal energy storage systems are the continuous rise in the prices of fuel and the increasing emissions of greenhouse gases. Over exploitation of non-renewable energy sources and an incessant rise in energy consumption has caused the dearth of non-renewable energy sources. As a result of this, the deployment of thermal energy storage systems has increased extensively across several industries and commercial and residential constructions. As most of the renewable sources are not constant in nature, it is here that thermal energy storage systems are deployed to store the energy. It has been accepted as a potential solution for combating energy deficiency needs across the world.

To meet the mounting energy needs arising from various sectors, manufacturers of thermal energy storage systems are focusing on improving the technology used in these systems. For instance, researchers at the Technical University of Madrid recently developed a new type of thermal energy storage system that relies on heat obtained from molten silicon. This technology can provide electricity via a thermo-photovoltaic converter during hours of peak demand.

Is expensive upfront investment a challenge for market growth?

The initial set-up cost of thermal energy storage systems is considerably high. Efficient deployment of these systems require high investments, thus making it difficult for small and mid-scale industries and construction companies to install them. This factor is anticipated to emerge as a key deterrent to the growth of the market. Furthermore, problems related to grid interconnectivity are likely to challenge the deployment of thermal energy storage systems in future.

Which is the region that manufacturers can turn to for growth opportunities?

The global thermal energy storage market is classified into Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and the Rest of the World in terms of geography. At present, Europe dominates the market and is further projected to maintain a lead by the end of the forecast period. Between the period of 2013 and 2020, it is anticipated that Europe will add over 1,307.0 MW of thermal energy storage capacity to its existing infrastructure. Manufacturers of thermal energy storage systems can capitalize on the opportunities arising from this mass deployment in Europe.


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