Global gas-fired power generation set to see strong growth, notes Frost & Sullivan

LONDON, Aug. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Gas-fired power generation is expected to grow across all regions of the world as countries increasingly opt for its relatively clean-burning characteristics and flexible operating capabilities. While the market will be restrained in the short term, the medium- and long-term prospects for gas-fired power are sound. North America and Europe will maintain their lead as the regions with the largest installed gas-fired capacity.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, Global Prospects for Gas-Fired Power Generation, finds that global gas-fired power plant orders will total 537 GW through 2020. A key market driver is the unpopularity of coal in developed regions. Coupled with the extremely low natural gas prices in North America, this is leading to the phasing out of old coal-fired plants, which are being replaced by gas-based plants.

Gas-fired power generation is also fuelled by the massive availability of natural gas because of new pipeline schemes such as Nabucco, the expansion of global LNG production led by leading producer Qatar, and the boom in shale gas production, spearheaded by the United States and gradually spreading to other regions. The high availability of gas, combined with the economic downturn, has brought about a prolonged period of relatively low gas prices, boosting gas-based generation.

“It is probable that in the short term, gas-based plants will also have delays associated with the availability of finance, exacerbated by the eurozone sovereign debt crisis, which erodes market confidence, and liquidity of the banking sector,” said Frost & Sullivan Industry Director, Harald Thaler. “Moreover, electricity consumption in many countries of the developed world has still not recovered to pre-crisis levels.”

However, considering the problems associated with coal and nuclear power – where developments have slowed down in the aftermath of the Fukushima accident – gas-fired power generation will benefit. Further, the greater operating flexibility offered by gas turbines – fast start-up capabilities and higher part-load efficiencies – will be a key differentiator.

“The leading regions for gas-fired power plant orders during the current decade will be the Middle East and China,” concluded Thaler. “The global market will be sustained by the burgeoning demand for new plants in emerging economies as well as replacement demand arising from decommissioning of old coal-fired power plants, particularly in Europe and North America.”

Global Prospects for Gas-Fired Power Generation is part of the Energy Growth Partnership Service programme, which also includes research in the following markets: European Solar Power Markets, Global Prospects for Coal-Fired Power Generation, Global Gas Genset Market, Russian Gensets Market, Western European Power Plant Services Markets, Smart Grids in Europe, among others. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.