The molten salt thermal energy storage market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 1.50% over the period of 2020-2025. Factors such as an increase in electricity consumption, decreasing the cost per kilowatt for energy storage, and push by governments for cleaner fuel is expected to provide a boost to the However, higher price of solar energy storage relative to the fossil fuels is expected to restrain the market.
- The parabolic troughs dominate the market as the method most used for storing energy in molten salt as they are able to concentrate the solar energy in a more efficient way. Many projects are, in 2019, under construction, and with a decrease in the cost per kilowatt for molten salt stored electricity, it is expected to dominate the market in the forecast period.
- New types of molten salt are under the research and development stage, like an increase in the stabilization of molten salts with the use of metal chloride. Innovations in the sector can spell an opportunity for market players.
- Asia-Pacific is among the largest user of the molten solar energy plants and is expected to grow fastest in the forecast period, with India and China expected to play a leading role in the growth of the market.
Key Market Trends
Parabolic Trough Segment to Dominate the Market
- The parabolic trough is among the most efficient method for molten salt storage, competing with solar power tower technology. Many different countries around the globe have, in 2019, already set up a parabolic trough molten solar energy storage system.
- Parabolic-trough solar concentrating systems are parabolic-shaped collectors made of reflecting materials. The collectors reflect the incident solar radiation onto the salt and raise the temperature to melt the salt. Different types of reflecting material and molten salt are under research, which can provide the required push to reduce the cost of the energy extracted from molten salt, which in turn is expected to boost the market.
- A parabolic trough molten salt solar plant is under construction in Gansu Province, China, with estimated energy generated of around 100 megawatts (MW). It has molten salt as the storage mechanism and can provide for 7 hours of electricity without source.
- In 2019, Spain dominated the molten salt trough parabolic trough market with its large numbers of concentrated solar power plants located all over the country, with companies like Acciona, SA, and Abengoa SA dominating the solar market in the country.
- Therefore, with the increase in demand for electricity and increasing efficiency of the molten salts and reflective material, it is expected that the molten salt thermal energy storage with the parabolic troughs are expected to grow in the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific to be the Fastest Growing Market
- The Asia-Pacific molten salt thermal energy storage market has grown the fastest, in 2019, and is expected to continue its high rate growth in the coming years as well. The region consists of large countries below the Tropic of Capricorn, which enables the countries to use solar energy projects efficiently.
- Gujarat Solar One is India's largest Parabolic Trough with a molten salt capacity of 9 hours. The thermal storage system used is a 2-tank indirect. More molten salt storage is expected to be expanded and built in the forecast period.
- China is among the largest user of the molten salt energy storage system in the world. In 2019, china contributed to more than 50% of the new CSP projects in the world, adding 200 MW of electricity generation capacity in the country.
- Hence, the molten salt thermal energy storage is expected to grow the fastest in the Asia-Pacific region in the forecast period due to an increase in demand for electricity and government and private players investments into the sector.
The molten salt thermal energy storage market is partially fragmented. Some of key players in this market are Yara International ASA, Acciona, S.A., Abengoa SA, BrightSource Energy, Inc., SENER Grupo de Ingenieria, S.A.
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