Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage Markets

Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage Market is projected to reach US$57.2 million by 2018, driven by rising demand for advanced energy storage technologies in both on-grid and off-grid applications. Energy storage systems play a critical role in providing the stability and flexibility required by electric grids to effectively meet surges in peak demand. Rapidly expanding world population, escalating demand for energy, fast depleting non-renewable energy resources, growing concerns over climate change and fears over impending energy crisis, are driving governments worldwide to lay special emphasis on energy efficiency, renewable resources, and on strengthening of electrical infrastructure system.

Among the various types of energy storage technologies, Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES) and Super Capacitor Energy Storage are recognized as technologies with almost negligible energy losses. Superconducting magnetic energy storage SMES system, a device that stores energy in the magnetic field, can instantly release stored energy and are considered ideal for shorter duration energy storage applications. SMES systems offer advantages in terms of quicker recharging and discharging, and the ability to recharge sequences several times without degradation of magnets. SMES has long been pursued as a large-scale energy storage technology with the ability to provide clean and environment friendly power, as superconductors have no electrical resistance losses. With renewable energy sources being increasingly integrated with power grids, there is a need for storage solutions such as SMES that can improve voltage stability. In distributed energy solutions, SMES systems are essential to ensure reliable supply of quality power to consumers.

SMES systems are predominantly used in applications that require low-energy storage and shorter duration of power supply. However, as most large-scale applications including substations are high-energy sectors, vendors are focusing efforts on the development of SMES systems with higher storage capacity. SMES market is expected to benefit immensely from the increased focus on R&D initiatives for promoting and developing clean technologies, given the rising environmental concerns and enhanced focus on energy arbitrage. Market progress has hitherto been hampered by the high cost and low-energy density of SMES systems. Efforts are currently underway to bring down the cost of SMES technology. A project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) aims to enable SMES technology’s use for MWh energy storage applications. The project’s success would allow the technology for use in large-scale energy storage.

As stated by the new market research report on Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES) Systems, Asia-Pacific represents the largest market worldwide. Growth in the region is led by increasing focus on smart grid, microgrid, distributed energy generation and renewable energy integration. In addition, regulatory support to develop superconductivity in various applications is favoring growth of energy storage technologies such as SMES systems across Asia. In the United States, limited storage capability of the power grid is driving power companies to continuously over-generate electricity so as to ensure reliable supply of power to consumers and industries. While solar and wind power have emerged as eco-friendly alternatives to fossil fuels, the intermittency and unpredictable generation continues to present challenges for the grid. All of these factors are driving focus on SMES as the energy storage technology of choice.

Major players covered in the report include ABB Inc., American Superconductor Corporation, ASG Superconductors SpA, Fujikura Europe Ltd., Nexans SA, Southwire Company, Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd, and SuperPower Inc., among others.

The research report titled Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES) Systems: A Global Strategic Business Report, provides a comprehensive review of market trends, issues, mergers, acquisitions and other strategic industry activities of major companies worldwide. The report provides market estimates and projections for geographic markets such as the United States, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of World.

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