Power Electronics

Energy Storage Device Market to Hit $12 Billion By Decade’s End

A soon-to-be-released marketing report from Business Communications Co. (BCC) of Norwalk, Conn., predicts that the total global market for capacitors, flywheels and superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) systems will rise at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 5.9%, from $9.2 billion in 2005 to $12.2 billion in 2010. The report, titled “RE-145 Global Markets for Capacitors, Flywheels and SMES Systems: Emerging and Mature Technologies,” examines a variety of device types within these broad technology categories, projects their market growth over the next five years and discusses the factors affecting their growth.

According to BCC, the market for emerging energy storage systems is segmented among a number of devices that are discussed in the new report. These devices include capacitors, batteries, fuel cells, flywheel energy storage (FES) systems, SMES systems and compressed air energy storage (CAES) systems. The largest market shares are represented by capacitors, flywheels and SMES systems.

The total capacitor market can be divided into mature and emerging capacitor technologies. Mature capacitor technologies include aluminum, tantalum and ceramic capacitors. These capacitor types are considered mature because they are technologically advanced, and they account for 98.7% of all capacitor sales, says BCC. Materials for aluminum, tantalum and ceramic capacitors also are technologically developed. Nevertheless, material availability fluctuates, and new materials are being explored to increase performance and decrease cost.

Emerging capacitor technologies include several capacitor types. However, BCC finds that the largest and most rapidly growing market shares are represented by niobium-oxide capacitors, film capacitors, ultracapacitors, supercapacitors and aerocapacitors. The latter three technologies are types of electric double layer (EDL) capacitors. Niobium oxide and film capacitor materials are mature, while EDL capacitor materials are still being developed.

Of the three emerging devices considered in the report, the share for capacitor technologies is expected to increase from 50.8% in 2005 to nearly 59% in 2010 as it grows at an AAGR of 22.8% through the forecast period. Currently estimated at $115.8 million, the combined shares of emerging capacitors as a percentage of all capacitors also are expected to increase from 1.3% to 2.7% by 2010. Film capacitors maintain the largest share of the market for emerging capacitor technologies, but niobium-oxide capacitor sales are growing most rapidly, according to BCC (see the table).

Furthermore, the report indicated that FES systems are the second largest segment within emerging technology, with sales expected to rise to $222 million in 2010. FES systems include high-speed flywheels and low-speed flywheels. High-speed FES units control the largest share of the FES system market, and sales for high-speed FES devices are growing most rapidly. Uninterruptible power supplies are the dominant driver of the FES system market. In addition, markets for frequency regulation and wind power offer significant growth potential for FES systems.

The industry for SMES systems is small but growing, according to BCC. At present, SMES systems are primarily utilized in the utilities market. Nevertheless, SMES devices are more suitable for the environment than some other energy storage devices, such as batteries. Hence, new opportunities emerge as the industry receives more funding from governments around the globe.

A variety of factors are said to be driving these trends ranging from the desire of U.S. lawmakers to decrease dependency on foreign oil to growing consumer demand for utility power and rising energy costs. Environmental concerns also are at play. Some existing energy storage devices contain hazardous substances such as lead, which various government organizations are seeking to eliminate. In some cases, newer energy storage technologies can offer environmentally friendly alternatives.

The report is priced at $3950. For more details, contact Business Communications Company at (203) 853-4266; ext. 309.

Global Market Value of Energy Storage Devices: Capacitors, FES Systems and SMES Systems, Through 2010 ($ Millions).

Device 2005 2010 AAGR% 2005 to 2010
Mature Capacitor Technologies* 8,940.00 11,660.00 5.5
Emerging Technologies** 228.05 549.90 19.2
Total 9,168.05 12,209.90 5.9
Emerging as a % of the total 2.5 4.5 0
* Aluminum, tantalum and ceramic capacitors.
** Emerging capacitors (niobium-oxide capacitors, film capacitors and electric double layer capacitors), FES systems, SMES systems.
Source: BCC Inc.
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