Commencement of Promotion Project for Thermal Storage Technology Implementation

Oct. 02. 2018
Marubeni Corporation

Marubeni Corporation (hereinafter, “Marubeni”) was commissioned by The Institute of Applied Energy (Mr. Ryoichi Shirato, President) to do part of the demonstration activities for the “Promotion Project of Practical Use of Next-Generation Thermal Energy Storage Technology” (hereinafter, “Demonstration”), which has been adopted by the Ministry of the Environment as a public offering business. The Demonstration will commence in October 2018.

Maximizing the utility of renewable energy such as solar and wind power is a necessary step towards the reduction of CO2 emissions. Since the generating capacity of renewable energy largely depends on the weather and time of day, the development and utilization of energy storage technology that leverages the power of storage batteries is vital for the stable usage of electricity. However, there are currently some logistical challenges to this – namely, cost.

The goal of this Demonstration is the development and demonstration of new independent and distributed next-generation geothermal technology, with a focus on “heat” as a means of low-cost energy storage; using materials like molten salt(*), energy can be transformed and stored as heat, and then turned back into energy when needed. Promoting thermal storage technology enables the stable generation of solar and wind power at a low cost. Additionally, the successful implementation of a thermal low-carbon renewable heat source is also expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Marubeni will be in charge of researching the status of industrial thermal energy usage, evaluating thermal storage systems from an economic standpoint, and studying commercial deployment after the demonstration is completed.

Marubeni promotes the use of renewable energy in the power generation business. Through this Demonstration, Marubeni will promote the same goal in the thermal energy field by implementing a shift from fossil fuels to renewable heat energy. In doing so, Marubeni hopes to contribute to the realization of a low-carbon society.

*Salt, solid at standard temperature and pressure, which has been liquefied by exposure to elevated temperature (a few hundred degrees Celsius).

■Outline of the Demonstration: Outline of the Demonstration