Global Pumped Hydro Storage Market Is Estimated To Witness High Growth Owing To Growing Energy Consumption

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One of the key drivers fuelling the pumped hydro storage market growth is growing energy consumption worldwide along with increasing integration of renewable energy in the power mix. According to International Energy Agency, global total primary

Market Overview:
Pumped hydro storage involves pumping water from a lower elevation reservoir to a higher elevation when electricity demand and prices are low and releasing it to turbines to generate electricity when demand and prices are high. It provides bulk energy storage, plays a major role in balancing intermittent renewable energy such as solar and wind. Pumped storage plants can ramp generation up and down quickly to follow the changes in electricity load or prices.

Market Dynamics:
One of the key drivers fuelling the pumped hydro storage market growth is growing energy consumption worldwide along with increasing integration of renewable energy in the power mix. According to International Energy Agency, global total primary energy demand is estimated to grow by 1% annually and reach 8,500 Mtoe by 2030. Additionally, adoption of renewable energy has been increasing rapidly across the globe to meet rising energy demand in a sustainable way and curb carbon emissions. However, intermittent nature of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind poses challenges in maintaining stability of power grids. Pumped hydro storage helps to balance power supply from renewable sources and improves reliability of power grids by storing excess energy that can be utilized when renewable power generation is low.

Another driver propelling the market growth is frequent fluctuations in power prices. Electricity prices fluctuate throughout the day and season based on variations in demand and supply. Pumped hydro storage facilities leverage such fluctuations by pumping water to upper reservoir and storing energy when electricity prices are low, and generating power during peak demand hours when prices are high. This enables power producers to maximize profits from selling electricity at higher rates.

SWOT Analysis
Strength: Pumped hydro storage is a renewable and sustainable source of energy storage. It provides bulk energy storage at a very large scale to balance the intermittent nature of renewable sources like solar and wind. The storage capabilities allow these clean sources to provide flexible power generation. Pumped hydro facilities have very high round trip efficiencies averaging around 80%. They provide large capacity energy storage over long durations from a few hours to a day or more.
Weakness: Pumped hydro requires suitable and abundant water resources along with appropriate topographical conditions like a large elevation difference between upper and lower reservoirs which limits its application. Construction of these large scale projects requires very high upfront capital costs running into billions of dollars.
Opportunity: Increasing deployment of variable renewable energy sources is driving the need for large scale energy storage technologies. Pumped hydro, being a mature and cost effective mass energy storage option, is well positioned to leverage this opportunity. Regulatory policies and incentives in many countries promoting flexible grids and renewable integration are encouraging investments in pumped hydro capacity additions.
Threats: Competing storage technologies like lithium-ion batteries and other emerging options are gaining faster technological improvements, cost reductions and wider application scope which poses a potential threat. Environmental concerns over the usage of water resources and altering of ecosystems for reservoirs can delay the permitting and construction of new projects.

Key Takeaways

The global Pumped Hydro Storage Market Share is expected to witness high growth, exhibiting CAGR of 6.9% over the forecast period, due to increasing deployment of renewable energy sources worldwide. Pumped hydro is one of the most reliable, sustainable and cost effective large scale energy storage solutions to balance the intermittent power generation from solar and wind plants.

Regional analysis: Asia Pacific region dominates the global pumped hydro storage market currently accounting for over 40% of total installed capacity worldwide led by countries like China, Japan and India. The region is expected to continue its dominance supported by rising energy demand, aggressive renewable integration targets and abundance of suitable hydrological resources. Europe and North America are other major markets with several large pumped storage plants already in operation for decades playing a vital role in the flexibility of power grids in these regions.

Key players operating in the pumped hydro storage market are Operators (Duke Energy Corporation, EON SE, Enel SPA, and Electricite de France SA, and Iberdrola SA) Technology Providers (General Electric Company, Siemens AG, Andritz AG, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd, Voith GmbH & Co. KGaA, and Ansaldo Energia SpA). The market has witnessed considerable M&A activities in past years and is expected to see further consolidation among market participants to gain geographical footprints and strengthen integrated energy service offerings.

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