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04 Aug 2016 01:08:41

Hydro-Pumped Storage Plants Market is expected to witness substantial growth during Forecast by 2020



The increasing demand for energy storage systems and emergence ancillary services is one of the main market drivers for pumped storage hydro in the future. Hydro-pumped storage plants system is a form of hydroelectric energy storage used by the power industry for the purposes of peak shaving and load balancing. In hydro-pumped storage plants, water flows from a lower elevation reservoir to another reservoir at a higher elevation where it is stored. During times of peak demand this stored water is utilized to run turbines whereas the low cost off-peak electric power is used to pump back the water to the upper reservoir.

These hydro-pumped storage plants systems generate maximum revenue from the sale of power during peak loads at the highest prices thereby balancing the load on conventional energy sources. Hydro-pumped storage plants can be harnessed better when used alongside wind energy turbines. The wind turbines pump water back into the reservoir during lean demand times thus resulting in better utilization of excess generation.

An increasing importance given toward grid stability coupled with the need for load balancing and energy storage are driving the growth of hydro-pumped storage plants. Other drivers for this industry include the need for alternative energy sources with black start capability, reactive power generation, and an ability to operate as a spinning reserve. The biggest restraint here is the availability of large bodies of water coupled with a height variation required between the two reservoirs. This can be overcome fairly easily through manmade alterations to the topography resulting in the desired size and height measurements. As more pressure is put on the electrical grids around the world to supply the ever growing demand for energy, ancillary service demand is increasing.

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Hydro-pumped storage plants are capable of supplying a large number of ancillary services ranging from load balancing to voltage control. Hydro-pumped storage plants can also serve as excellent spinning reserves and also provide black start services to utility grids. Overall, hydro-pumped storage plants are an integral part of any robust energy generation mix and satisfy the requirement of ample backup power in times of grid failures or other supply related emergencies. The technological segmentation consists of single reversible pump turbine and separate pump & turbine generators. Recent developments are giving rise to technologies such as micro hydro-pumped storage plants, seawater hydro-pumped storage plants, and underground hydro-pumped storage plants facilities. The end use application of pumped storage hydroelectricity can be segmented on the basis of the service they provide. Some of the services provided by pumped storage hydro are energy balancing, stability, storage capacity and ancillary grid services.

The earliest hydro-pumped storage plants developments occurred in the central European region, especially in the U.K, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy. In 2012, Europe was the market leader in hydro-pumped storage plants generation, followed by the Asia Pacific and North America. Japan is the major market player in pumped storage hydro facilities in Asia-Pacific followed by South Korea and Taiwan. In North America, the U.S. accounts for over 95% of the installed pumped storage hydro generating capacity with Canada occupying the balance. Africa is a relatively nascent market but is showing promising potential in the future. There are a large number of projects in the pipeline in most of regions which have significant potential to double the capacity installed currently if realized. Some of the key players in this market are Alstom, First Hydro, Exelon, Voith and J-Power among others.

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