Global Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES) Market Empowered as Solution to Wind Power Management Conundrum

The ubiquitous championing of renewable energy production, born from global concerns about climate change, environmental pollution, and energy security, frequently overlooks one important caveat: the inherently and highly variable nature of renewable resources such as wind energy and solar power, whose periodic availability doesn’t always align with consumer electricity demand.

Additionally, consider the current grid management issues such as aging transmission infrastructure and congestion along regional power grids, and it becomes obvious that a bonafide energy conundrum exists for governments worldwide seeking to meet the demand for renewable electricity.

The answer is renewable energy storage, which is creating new market opportunities for the development of compressed air energy storage (CAES) as a solution for peak power supply and grid management, according to leading industrial market research firm SBI Energy in the recently released report CAES Compressed Air Energy Storage Worldwide.

"CAES offers a very valuable solution. Renewable power generated during off peak periods can easily be stored in a CAES facility, and then released back onto the grid during periods of high electricity demand," says Robert Eckard, SBI Energy analyst and author of the report. "We’re talking about a technologically mature energy storage option capable of generating electricity for several hours at utility-scale capacities above 100 megawatts, a feat few other market-available grid energy storage technologies can approach."

At its best, the technology offers the global energy industry and wholesale power markets solutions to issues including baseload renewable power purchasing, responsive and flexible utility scale power generation, increasing of renewable energy capacity factors, and reactive power support.

With the construction of only two previous CAES facilities, the expected re-emergence in construction of new CAES facilities during the period 2010-2014 will have a significant impact on the CAES market, predicts Eckard. SBI Energy experts further anticipate a refocusing towards the manufacture and supply of CAES components, based on a perceived future jump in CAES markets.

With only a few dedicated engineering companies and manufacturers a few years ago, the CAES industry is apparently growing through the entrance of project service providers and manufacturers. The entrance of new companies and manufacturers to the CAES market also appears to be driven by governmental support for research and development of the next generation of CAES facilities.

Beyond 2014, SBI Energy forecasts the emergence of CAES outside current hotspots in the United States and Germany, into areas of Asia and Europe with significant long-term wind power development projected in the North Sea (to supply surrounding countries such as Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Germany), along with solar power development in the southern Mediterranean (powering Spain and Italy), and possibly China if wind and solar power development drives future grid energy storage capabilities.

CAES Compressed Air Energy Storage Worldwide provides comprehensive data on the global market for CAES technologies, including historic (2004-2009) and forecast (2010-2014) market size data, broken down in terms of CAES components — including the CAES compression subsystem, storage subsystem, and the expansion/generation subsystem. The report identifies key trends affecting the marketplace, along with trends driving growth, and also profiles major technology providers, and end user characteristics. For further information, visit:

SBI Energy, a division of, publishes research reports in the industrial, energy, building/construction, and automotive/transportation markets. SBI Energy also offers a full range of custom research services.