The global Thermal Energy Storage (TES) market along with the rest of energy industry value chain is expected to be impacted by the ongoing pandemic and the virus led global recession. The global market size is revised at a projected US$8 billion for the year 2027. Government measures to curtail movement of people and good sand the worst ever economic downturn will together bring down the energy industry in the year 2020. Lockdowns are bringing electricity consumption in malls, hotels, gyms, schools, shops to almost zero. Utilities are staring at a severe cash crunch as revenues sharply decline and spot prices of electricity plummet. Energy storage deployments worldwide will decline steeply from earlier projections for the year 2020. As finances dry-up for consumers and businesses alike, sales of energy storage systems for homes, building and industrial processes will decline.
Given that uninterrupted power supply is the backbone of economic development, interest in thermal energy storage solutions will bounce back when the economic climate clears. In the post COVID-19 period, demand for efficient, reliable, and economical energy storage technologies; and continued shift towards renewable energy sources and the resulting need to efficiently harness, store and utilize wind and solar energy will remerge to spur growth. Few of the benefits of TES technology include high efficiency with the ability to recover over 98% of stored energy; can be discharged over both short and long durations; operational and cost benefits; enables effective peak load balancing and encourages electricity generation during non-peak hours. Few of the trends which underlined growth in the pre-corona virus period included increased integration of renewable in utilities, the resulting loss of base load energy generation and the ensuing importance of energy storage technologies in enabling grid stability; popularity and dominance of sensible heat storage technology given its low cost and simplicity in design and architecture; rise in the number of concentrated solar power projects and increased demand for sensible heat storage technology; growing number of wind farms and higher use of TES systems for efficient harnessing, storage and utilization of wind energy; rising prominence of phase change materials-based systems over molten salt-based thermal storage. Although currently in hiatus, these trends will resurface to drive market gains in the long-term period.
The urgent need to make the energy infrastructure more efficient and less polluting will continue to rank as the primary driver of growth in developed markets. Several countries in Europe will also continue to place increased emphasis on energy efficiency initiatives which will require active integration of renewable energy into the main power grid thus spurring the need for thermal energy storage solutions. Asia-Pacific including China is a major market and in a business as usual post COVID-19 scenario, growth in the region will beled by factors such as growing economies; increased investments in energy infrastructure development and upgrade; continuous rise in electricity demand; growing problem of and high economic cost of unreliable power supply; abundant availability of renewable energy and concerted government efforts to use renewable to meet energy needs in a safe and reliable way.
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