Global Molten Salt Thermal Energy Storage (TES) Market: Snapshot

Variable renewable energy is facing high demand as an energy generation method in present times. The depleting nonrenewable energy sources coupled with the massive amounts of pollution and emissions created due to them have been instrumental in driving the demand for renewable – specifically, variable renewable – energy sources such as molten salt thermal energy storage. The increasing demand for VRE is further backed by government investments and high priority research and development projects, especially for molten salt TES.

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Additionally, molten salt thermal energy storage puts forth a unique value addition to the power sector: it can act as a means to amplify or supplement the existing energy transmission and distribution systems. This is a sought after factor in many regions as there is a high demand for improving power transmission and distribution infrastructure. This is applicable especially to developing economies, where the rapid rate of industrialization needs to be sustained by an equally fast developing power transmission and distribution network.

The above factors, along with a few others, will drive the global molten salt thermal energy storage market at a CAGR of 24.7% in terms of revenue from 2015 to 2023. The market is expected to reach US$480.5 mn by the end of 2015 and is expected to reach US$2.5 bn by the end of 2023.

European Push for Renewables Results in High Growth Rate of Molten Salt TES in Region

In 2014, Europe held a whopping 78.2% of the overall value for molten salt thermal energy storage units. This was due to the early initiation of the market in the region, caused by the stringent government regulations pertaining to emission standards and use of renewables. North America held also held a substantial share at the time and the other regions barely had a stake in this market’s value.

Most countries in Europe consider molten salt thermal energy storage as a very effective method of augmenting power supply and distribution. The high importance given to the technology by the region has given it the upper hand in terms of latest developments and key player presence. The immediate future of molten salt thermal energy storage in Europe is expected to be in large capacity energy storage locations for latent heat and thermonuclear energy.

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The scenario is rapidly changing, however, and it is expected that Asia Pacific and the MEA region will play leading roles in molten salt thermal energy storage usage and technology development in the coming years. By the end of 2023, the Middle East and Africa demand for molten salt TES is expected to account for a share of 39.0% in market volume.

North America Scope for Molten Salt TES to Remain Moderate to High

The scope of using thermal energy storage technologies in North America is relatively medium due to a matured market and loose frameworks surrounding the use of thermal energy storage. The demand for molten salt thermal energy storage is expected to increase in the near future owing to large scale projects for planned concentrated solar power plants across the U.S. Additionally, concentrated solar plants pose a greater competitive system when it comes to net grid system costs, adding to the region favoring solar power and molten salt thermal energy storage. The latter can be an effective energy storage station with a much greater efficiency than most conventional counterparts.

The key players in the global market for molten salt thermal energy storage include Abengoa Solar S.A., Acconia S.A., AREVA, BrightSource Energy, Inc., SCHOTT AG, Siemens AG, and Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne, Inc.