CSP a boost for energy storage

The report titled ‘High Temperature Energy Storage: NaS, NaMx and Molten Salt’ states that these HTS technologies are increasingly becoming the popular choices for large- and utility-scale energy storage. The report highlights that the sale of these molten salt storage systems are highly influenced by the growth of the global CSP (concentrated solar power) market. The HTS market is composed of three categories: sodium-sulfur (NaS) batteries, sodium-metal halide (NaMx) batteries, and molten salt thermal energy storage (TES) systems.

For TES systems, the U.S. will evolve into the largest market, overtaking Spain. This is primarily due to the strong growth in CSP plant construction. Other countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia are also noted as places that will begin to increase their demand of molten salt TES by 2020.

Despite the lacklustre 2010 growth for the NaS battery market, the report says that demand will pick up thanks to companies such as RUBENIUS in Mexico and the Abu Dhabi Water and Electric Authority in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that are building hundreds of megawatts of energy storage systems designed around NaS batteries.

The report by SBI Energy nevertheless predicts that due to lack of investment by governments and institutions into fundamental NaS battery research, the battery chemistry will be overtaken by lithium-ion in its primary sales channel of utility scale energy storage, resulting in a market decline after 2017.