September 11, 2012 — An increase in interest in energy storage will help spur opportunities for thermal energy storage in the U.S., according to a report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant's Energy Practice.
Thermal energy storage is also used to enhance electricity production at concentrated solar power projects by storing heat for later power generation.
The research said installed thermal energy storage capacity in the U.S. will increase to 7.2 GW by 2020, up from 2.7 GW in 2011. The annual U.S. market for incremental thermal energy storage capacity totals $268 million, with 246 MW of new capacity installed in 2011 in five market segments: packaged air conditioning, chiller thermal energy storage systems, district energy, residential heat energy storage and commercial heat TES.
The thermal energy storage market in Europe will likely see the strongest growth thanks to the European Union's heavy emphasis on energy efficiency initiatives and the rise in volatile renewable electricity generation, according to the report.
Under a conservative estimate of 2020 market activity, Pike Research forecasts that there will be about 19 GW of cumulative thermal energy storage installations in Europe by the end of the decade, equaling 2 GW of new capacity per year by 2020.