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More than 11 GW of compressed air energy storage (CAES) capacity will be installed worldwide over the next 10 years, finds a new report from Navigant Research.

The report says traditional underground CAES, which is one of only two proven long-duration bulk storage technologies, has been commercially available for more than 30 years. While no new CAES plants have been deployed since 1991, Navigant notes project activity and interest in the technology has grown in recent years and higher-efficiency next-generation CAES technology is also nearing commercialization.

"Rapidly changing energy mixes and increasing renewable energy penetration will continue to introduce instability onto electricity grids worldwide in the coming years, while the volatility of load profiles will challenge grid operators to deliver reliable and secure electricity,” says Kerry-Ann Adamson, research director with Navigant Research.  “These macro conditions will drive demand for CAES, helping to rejuvenate a sector that has been largely dormant for the last two decades.”

The report says growth in this sector will also be driven by advances in isothermal, or adiabatic, CAES, which can be sited anywhere and conveniently scaled using modular units. A handful of players are innovating in this space, and their technology will be commercially validated in the next 12 to 36 months, the study concludes.




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