The global steam condenser market for thermal power was valued at $1.9 billion in 2011, and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.2 percent to reach $3.3 billion in 2020, according to a report from GlobalData.
The report, which looks at the steam condenser market for thermal power plants, refineries, chemical processing plants and other industries, says thermal installed capacity reached 3,578 GW worldwide in 2011, and is expected to grow to 4,692 GW by 2020 due to growing demand.
Global electricity consumption has increased at a CAGR of 3.6 percent over the past 10 years, according to GlobalData, and will continue growing because of increasing industrialization, urbanization and expanding populations. This will help sustain the steam condenser market.
However, the report says while thermal power sources accounted for 66.2 percent of total global installed capacity in 2011, this share will gradually decline in the future, as renewable energy sources develop and take over more of the market.
Growing environmental concerns have led to an increased focus on reducing emissions from the electricity sector. Countries around the world are decommissioning coal-fired power plants, and various European Union directives, such as the Large Combustion Plant Directive and the Emission Trading Scheme, have made it uneconomical to continue with the operation of aging coal-fired power plants in EU countries.
Carbon emissions rank third — up from sixth last year — among electric utilities’ top environmental concerns, according to a June Black & Veatch Corp report.
Many countries now stipulate that a fixed percentage of electricity be generated from sources such as natural gas, hydro and renewable sources. GlobalData forecasts that this change in energy generation methods may challenge the steam condenser market in the future.
Despite this, the report says developments in generation technology may also lead to improvements for fossil fuel plants. The combined cycle gas turbine has the potential to increase the capacity and efficiency of gas and steam turbine plants, and clean coal technology — if it’s developed further — may help coal-fired power plants meet regulated emission standards. Both of these technologies offer environmental and economic benefits, and GlobalData expects this to generate demand for steam condensers over the forecast period.