Power Generation: Four Key Areas Shaping the Future of Energy Production

Globally the power generation industry is changing and transforming as it adapts to a number of new conditions. Demand for energy is as strong as ever and only expected to grow, whilst at the same time countries want carbon emissions to drop substantially. How the industry meets this challenge remains one of the great technological problems of the next decade. Renewable energy growth is very strong, but there are plenty of problems which might limit some of the technologies in future.

Key Questions Answered:

– What is happening in the power generation industry?

– What are the most important new technologies?

– Which countries are pushing new developments?

– What power sources are most attractive at present?

– How can countries meet their carbon emissions targets?


Nuclear power is beginning to recover and there are some great opportunities on the horizon, but overall nuclear might be a difficult sell at present. China is now the leading player in most energy market types, its domestic decisions driving the direction of the world economy. LNG is booming as a cheap energy source that doesn’t require a pipeline, but just where does that fit into a low carbon energy system of the future.

Renewable energy is on the agenda of most governments worldwide. In 2018 it is now much more viable a prospect when compared to conventional sources and the vast majority of countries have made significant voluntary pledges through the Paris climate agreement to dramatically increase their percentage of renewable energy production. Wind, solar and hydro sources are doing the majority of the work and are applied according to the specific climate and geography of the country deploying it.

However, some technologies are advancing as quickly as they could and the world currently relies more on hydro than any other resource, which can have dramatic environmental implications. Furthermore, both wind and solar have their own environmental implications that need to be taken into consideration.

Reasons to buy

- Examine what's happening in the power generation industry at present.

- See how different technologies are adapting to a new business environment.

- Learn which energy generation technologies are the strongest at present and the best option for countrie

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Executive summary 2

Renewable adoption is strong, plenty of challenges remain however 2

Nuclear power is making a resurgence, new technology is coming 2

China is now a dominant factor in global energy production 2

Liquefied Natural Gas is changing global power generation 2

Renewable adoption is strong but plenty of challenges remain 7

New era of renewable technology is encouraging good levels of adoption 7

Leading global companies are increasingly demanding renewable energy 8

Hydro is overwhelmingly the biggest current renewable source globally 9

Current trends in the hydro industry include the building of small dams 10

Offshore wind is booming, but efficiency gains are limited without new technology 11

Size is the main technological achievement which may limit wind energy 11

Solar is booming all over the world but particularly in China & India 12

Solar’s problem was always storage, but that is now close to being resolved 13

Every energy source has some environmental cost 13

Nuclear Power is making a resurgence, new technology is coming 14

Current nuclear technology will always carry some risk 14

The fallout from Fukushima was significant for the industry 15

Japan is tentatively trying to bring reactors back online with new safety standards 15

Germany has struggled to reduce carbon emissions because of nuclear going offline 15

The nuclear energy market is recovering because of the need to hit emissions targets 15

Nuclear energy in its current form is getting more expensive 16

Subsidies, guaranteed prices, and a poor deal for the consumer 16

The real answer and future for nuclear is in new technology 17

Thorium power plants could improve nuclear technology 17

Nuclear fusion is coming and may be the long term future of nuclear tech 18

China is now the dominant factor in global energy production 20

Vast spending on renewable power establishes China as leading global ”˜green energy’ player 20

Having expanded rapidly, solar power now faces multiple problems 21

China continues to invest in coal overseas, granting fossil fuels a long-term future 22

Exporting of coal-fired power plants is influencing the spread of green energy production 23

Coal will remain central to Chinese power generation for decades to come despite overcapacity problems 23

Rising domestic demand is forcing up power generation 24

China is the most important player due to enormous power requirements and soaring demand 25

Consumers are living increasingly energy intensive lives, driving demand for more power 26

Liquefied Natural Gas is changing global power generation 28

Spread of LNG opens gas to new markets, causing major shifts in power generation 28

Entry of China as major importer is helping expansion of LNG as a source of power generation 29

Expansion of LNG opens global power generation industry to fresh players 30

Creation of trading hubs improves supply security, aiding growth in usage 31

Demand for LNG is expanding, requiring fresh infrastructure investment 32

Rising demand reveals future of LNG in global power generation is becoming more secure 32

Infrastructure development must continue at speed if LNG potential is to be realized 33

Key Findings 35

Appendix 36

Sources 36

Further Reading 36

Ask the analyst 37

About MarketLine 37

Disclaimer 37

List of Tables

List of Tables

Table 1: Top 10 LNG exporters, 2016 31

List of Figures

List of Figures

Figure 1: Leading renewable energy countries by energy mix % 7

Figure 2: Renewable energy global market value and growth 2013-2017 $tn 8

Figure 3: Leading tech companies’ renewable energy use, 2017 9

Figure 4: Global renewable sources market share, 2016 10

Figure 5: Vattenfall’s 8.4 MW turbines 11

Figure 6: India’s Pavagada solar park in southern India 12

Figure 7: Global nuclear power market value and volume 2012-2016 14

Figure 8: UK Levelized cost estimates for new generation projects 2015, $ /MWh (Nuclear based Hinckley prices) 16

Figure 9: MIT’s planned Fusion experiment 18

Figure 10: China solar, tide and wave energy production (TWh) 2012 to 2016 20

Figure 11: China, The Panda Power Plant in Datong 21

Figure 12: Chinese coal-fired power sation 22

Figure 13: China fossil fuel power consumption (TWh) 2010 to 2016 24

Figure 14: China total power consumption (TWh) 2010 to 2016 25

Figure 15: China, electrical and electronics retail value, ($bn) 2010 to 2016 26

Figure 16: Global renewable sources by region 2016 27

Figure 17: South Korea energy consumption 2010 to 2016 (TWh) 28

Figure 18: China consumption of oil and gas (billions BOE) 2009 to 2016 29

Figure 19: Qatargas LNG facilities. 32

Figure 20: FSRU Independence, a Floating Storage Regasification Unit 33


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