The revenue of the superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) market will grow from an estimated USD 57.2 billion in 2023 to USD 100.1 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 8.4% during the forecast period (2024–2030). This will be due to the increasing demand for continuous power, rising investment in the utility sector, and growing focus on grid modernization. The most-important advantage of SMES systems is that during charging and discharging, the time delay is quite short.
Low-temperature SMES has been dominating the market, with a share of 60% in 2023, and it will keep doing so in the coming years. This is because this technology is operationally safer in comparison to high-temperature SMES. Apart from this, it offers a high energy density, which implies that it can collect more energy in a compact space.
This feature is important for applications where there is a space problem, such as electric vehicles, where it allows for long driving ranges without compromising design. Moreover, in the aerospace sector, low-temperature SMES systems are used to power satellites and spacecraft from a confined space. Further, this compact design allows medical equipment with in limited space inside, such as implantable devices and diagnostic tools, to operate for long periods.
Additionally, the long lifecycle assists in reducing replacement and maintenance costs. Further, the rapid response of the systems helps when the dynamics of power demand and supply change, which makes them suitable for grid stabilization and frequency regulation.
These systems are also environment-friendly as they are made from materials that do not cause any harm to the environment or produce emissions. They include superconducting wire materials such as niobium–titanium and niobium–tin. Additionally, cryogenic fluids, such as liquid helium and nitrogen are used to cool SMES systems, and when handled and stored appropriately, they also possess a negligible environmental risk.
The power system category, which holds the largest share, is expected to grow at a rate of 40% from 2024 to 2030 due to the growing demand for power and the creation of new grids to meet it. SMES systems are integrated into critical pieces of infrastructure, such as data centers, emergency response centers, and healthcare facilities, to ensure the availability of power during grid emergencies or outages.
In some regions, government incentives and policies promote the deployment of energy storage technologies for applications in the grid, which further drives the power systems category. Further, as this technology advances due to R&D, its usage in power systems will continue to increase.
Europe is a significant market due to the robust focus on research and development and the advancements in technology as a result. Furthermore, the increasing emphasis of European countries on renewable energy sources for the generation of power propels the market. Europe is ahead in the adoption of clean energy solutions due to rigorous efforts and significant investments in solar, wind, and hydroelectric systems. Additionally, the environmental policies of the EU to reduce carbon emissions have augmented the efforts to use more of clean energy and less of fossil fuels.
Some of the key players in the superconducting magnetic energy storage market are American Superconductor Corporation, Fujikura Ltd., Nexans S.A., Luvata, ASG Superconductors spa, Bruker Corporation, and Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd.