NR1896

NEWS RELEASE                                                                                                    JANUARY 2014

Gas Turbine Market Is Influenced By the Renewables Developments

The market for gas turbines and components will exceed $75 billion worldwide in 2014.  The rate of growth in future years is greatly impacted by the regulatory and commercial developments in wind and solar and to a lesser extent on biomass, geothermal and hydropower. This renewables impact is continually assessed through the iteration of data in three McIlvaine reports: Gas Turbine Combined Cycle Supplier Program, Renewable Energy World Markets and Biofuels Updates and Projects.

In a broader sense, the market for gas turbines is impacted by renewables due to:

  • Regulatory favoritism for renewables
  • Renewable needs to supplement the intermittent electricity delivery
  • Cost of renewables
  • Use of renewable sources  to create fuels for gas turbines
  • Laws are in constant flux and the future stringency is in question
  • Regulations differ greatly between developed and developing countries
  • Simple cycle turbines generate 40 percent more greenhouses gases/MWh as do combined cycle turbines
  • Water problems with combined cycle plants can be alleviated with dry cooling and zero liquid discharge
  • Some renewables such as hydropower, geothermal, wave and concentrated solar have their own water problems.
  • Gas turbines fired with biofuels have a low net greenhouse gas impact
  •  A gas turbine fired with biofuels and with carbon sequestration for enhanced oil recovery or other purposes would  reduce greenhouse gas emissions and, therefore, be superior to solar or wind
  • By reducing the potent methane to CO2, gas turbines fired with landfill gas or fugitive sources in the oil and gas industry reduce greenhouse gases

Gas turbines generate more greenhouse gases than do wind or solar electricity producers.  Regulatory favoritism in the form of either subsidies or penalties will shape the balance between the fuels. 

Forecasting the favoritism impact is difficult for a number of reasons:

Wind and solar are intermittent sources of energy.  California is investing heavily in gas turbine power generation to operate intermittently and, therefore, provide constant power for the State.  Innovations to allow combined cycle plants to start and stop quickly could boost this market.

The future cost of renewables is another important factor. Solar power in particular is likely to become considerably less expensive over time.  The question is not only when this will happen but for what portion of electricity users.

There is a significant market developing for biofuel-fired gas turbines.  Both liquid and gaseous fuels are options.  Solid fuels can be converted to gases. There are waste-to-energy plants in construction and planning which gasify municipal waste and then use that gas to generate power with gas turbines.

Landfill gases are now commonly utilized to generate power using gas turbines.  Methane is twenty-nine times greater a greenhouse gas contributor than is CO2 over a one hundred year time frame.  It is one hundred times more potent over the first twenty years.  Therefore, there is a big advantage in using this waste gas for power.

For more information on:

Gas Turbine and Combined Cycle Supplier Program, click on: http://home.mcilvainecompany.com/index.php/markets/28-energy/610-59ei.

Renewable Energy World Markets, click on: http://home.mcilvainecompany.com/index.php/markets/28-energy/473-n042

Biofuels Updates and Projects, click on: http://home.mcilvainecompany.com/index.php/databases/28-energy/483-47ai