The market for CAES systems remained underdeveloped, due to several reasons, such as lack of investment and lack of technology, which prevented the development of new CAES plants. However, factors, such as renewable integration with CAES systems and implementation of demonstration projects, coupled with technological developments in the CAES systems, are expected to drive the market studied during the forecast period.
- As of 2018, the diabatic CAES systems were the only type of systems that had been deployed for commercial purposes. The first diabatic CAES plant, Huntorf CAES plant, was built in Germany in 1978. This CAES plant had a capacity of 298 MW and efficiency of only around 40%. The adiabatic and isothermal compressed energy storage systems are currently in the research phase. No commercial adiabatic CAES plants existed, as of 2018.
- At a regional level, large-scale renewable energy deployment, coupled with rising demand for large scale energy storage system, is driving the market studied. North America is the largest market and is likely to dominate in the near future. Europe is the second-largest market, with several new CAES projects lined up to be commissioned between 2020 - 2024.
Key Market Trends
Diabatic are the Only Commercialized Type of CAES Technology
- The diabatic CAES plants are a conventional type of systems, where, during the compression process the excessive heat generated is released to the atmosphere. During power generation, the required heat is generated generally using the natural gas.
- As a result, the diabatic CAES systems, though simple and relatively less costly, have lower efficiency, and are less environment-friendly than other types of CAES systems. The diabatic CAES systems achieve an efficiency of around 50%, significantly lower than the other upcoming technologies.
- In 2018, the diabatic CAES systems are the only type of systems that have been deployed for commercial purpose. The first diabatic CAES plant, Huntorf CAES plant, was built in Germany, in 1978. This CAES plant has the capacity of 298 MW and efficiency of only around 40%. The second plant was built in Alabama, United States, in 1991, with a capacity of 110 MW and efficiency of above 50%. The adiabatic systems achieve efficiency about 20% more than the diabatic systems.
- The operating cost of the diabatic CAES plants is significantly lower than the adiabatic and isothermal CAES plants. As a result, the diabatic plants are generally more profitable to operate. However, as the plants require gas-firing for operation, the diabatic plants are less ecological. As the concerns regarding the climate change are rising globally, the other CAES plants are being preferred over the diabatic plants.
- With the development in other technology, the share of diabatic CAES systems in the market is expected to decline during the forecast period. Among the announced CAES projects worldwide, none of the major projects use diabatic technology. A similar trend is expected to continue during the forecast period, which, in turn, is expected to restrain the market growth of the diabatic CAES systems market.
North America to Dominate the Market
- North America is likely to be the largest market and will continue to dominate the market owing to the increasing growth in the CAES technology in the US market. The US power sector is in the midst of profound transformation with the fast-paced replacement of coal-based electricity generation with natural gas. Owing to decreasing cost and vast environmental benefits offered, renewables integration has also picked up at a very rapid pace.
- In a bid to ensure the stability of the ageing power grid of the country, large-scale implementation of energy storage systems is being considered critical. Moreover, with the country trying to decarbonize the economy, considering the environment, the share of renewable for power generation is expected to increase. With the increase in country's reliance on renewables for energy demand, an uninterrupted supply of power is necessary and owing to renewables being heavily reliant on prevailing weather condition, a need for efficient energy storage is expected to increase, during the forecast period.
- With compressed energy storage solution providing a viable technology for use, the market is expected to grow, during the forecast period. In the United States, as of June 2018, there were 4 operating CAES systems, with a combined rated power of 113.5 MW.
- Some of the major upcoming CAES projects include Pacific Gas and Electric Company underground CAES project, and Bethel Energy Center CAES Project that is expected to drive the growth of CAES market. However, certain projects, such as Iowa Stored Energy Park (ISEP) project, Iberdrola United States, Norton Ohio CAES, and LightSail company I-CAES were seized before commercialization.
Some of the key players operating in the market studied are Siemens, Hydrostor, Apex CAES, and Ridge Energy Storage and Grid Services. Overall, the market studied is assessed to be consolidated, less competitive, capital intensive, and non-lucrative in nature.
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