Sept 12 - Installed thermal energy storage capacity in the U.S. is forecast to rise to 7.2 GW by 2020, up from 2.7 GW in 2011, according to Pike Research.
The annual U.S. market for incremental thermal energy storage capacity totals $268 million, with 246 MW of new capacity installed in 2011, Pike Research, a part of Navigant's Energy Practice, said in a report published on Wednesday.
The strongest growth for thermal energy storage is expected to occur in Europe, as market development is supported by the European Commission's efficiency initiatives and the rise in volatile renewable electricity generation.
„Under a conservative estimate of 2020 market activity, 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," analysts at Pike Research said in the report.
Thermal energy storage is used to better utilise surplus electricity generatated at solar plant projects by storing heat for later power generation.