The top four manufacturers account for a lion’s share of the global thermal energy storage market making it highly consolidated. Among the top four, CALMAC held slightly over 23% of market share in 2013 on the back of installation of thermal energy storage (ice-based) storage systems having a capacity of over 500MV worldwide. CALMAC is also one of the first companies to create a mobile app for consumers of energy. CALMAC was trailed by EVAPCO, Inc., which has a range products for commercial heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) applications. CB&I and Goss Engineering, Inc. followed EVAPCO.
Since the global thermal energy storage market is dominated by a handful of large players, brand value plays a crucial role in marketing of the products. Buying into the promise of fast growth in the market, many new players have been aiming to enter it. But EPA regulations pose an entry barrier for them. At present product differentiation is limited in the market, but with increasing thrust on research and development, competitive rivalry is slated to heat up in the near future.
The global market for thermal energy storage is predicted to reach a value of US$1.8 bn by 2020, exhibiting a robust growth rate.
Pressing Demand for Energy to Power Robust Growth in Asia Pacific
Based on technology, sensible heat accounts for a major share of the global thermal energy storage market. Going forward, however, it would likely trim its market share to hold about 60.2% of it by 2020 as it has low storage capacity per volume of the storage media. Other reasons for its decreasing market share is the non-isothermal behavior of the material during heat storage and releasing processes and progress in other technologies such as latent heat and thermochemical storage.
North America dominates the global market for thermal energy storage in terms of market share. It is slated to hold on to its leading share in the future too. In terms of growth rate, however, Asia Pacific is predicted to expand at the maximum pace due to a burgeoning population pushing up the demand for energy, both conventional and renewable. Its market share is likely to be about 22% in by 2020.
Swift Take-up of Variable Energy Sources Pushing up Demand
An important growth in the global market for thermal energy storage is the growing uptake of variable energy sources (VES) in the power generation portfolio worldwide. “One of the common claims is that VES such as wind and solar are unreliable and intermittent in nature, and often require firming and backup to be useful in a utility system. Variable energy sources are increasingly becoming competitive with conventional energy generation technologies. The rapid rate at which they are being adopted, coupled with the goals for de-carbonization and energy security set by government across the world, propels the demand for thermal energy storage technologies globally,” explains the analyst of the TMR report.
High Initial Investment Poses a Roadblock to Market
Providing headwinds to the market is the high initial investment. Thermal energy storage technologies comprise various technologies each with a specific application, performance, and cost. Among them, the costs of phase change materials (PCMs) and thermochemical storage (TCS) are usually higher in comparison to the capacity of storage they provide. Another market deterrent is the numerous challenges to grid interconnection, which include the difficulty in creating appropriate market signals to incentivize the building of storage capacity and the provision of storage services.
This review is based on the findings of a TMR report titled “Thermal Energy Storage Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2014 - 2020.”
Global Thermal Energy Storage Market, by Technology
- Sensible Heat
- Latent Heat
- Thermochemical Heat
Global Thermal Energy Storage Market, by End Use Segment
- Commercial and Industrial
Global Thermal Energy Storage Market, by Regional Analysis
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of the World (RoW)
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