Major Revenue Growth Ahead for Distributed Power
Small scale power generation revenues are poised for growth,
according to a new study by Business Communications Co. Revenues
were estimated at $4.2 billion in 1998 and are expected to grow at
an average annual rate of 32.1% to pass $16 billion in 2003.
The fuel cell market is expected to grow the fastest, from $305
million in 1996 to $1,094 million by 2003, averaging an annual
growth rate of 29.1% over the period. A nonexistent market in 1998,
microturbine technology is expected to gross $8,500 million by
2003, contributing as much as 50% to the total small-scale power
The study found baseload generation currently relies on coal,
nuclear and natural gas-fired technologies. However, coal and
nuclear stem turbines will decline from their present levels over
the next two decades. By 2003, it is estimated that about 55 GW of
new generating capacity will be installed in the United States,
more than 200 GW will be installed in world markets, and a
significant portion of these capacities will be in the form of
small-scale power systems in distributed energy applications.
Small-scale systems are set to play a major role in the
deregulated power industry. Large-scale plants will compete in the
baseload power generation market, while small-scale power systems
will penetrate the distributed power market. Over the next decade,
nuclear power plants will be decommissioned, and increasingly
stringent environmental regulations will be enforced. Major
utilities will see cost tradeoffs between power grid upgrades and
the need for additional central power plants versus distributed
generation. Lastly, the trend to small-scale generation systems
will continue to grow, spurred by the approaching commercialization
of a number of new technologies in generator sets, turbines,
microturbines and fuel cells.
The study, titled "Small-Scale Power Generation: How Much, What
Kind?" is available from Business Communications Co., Norwalk, CT,
for $3,150. For information, call (203)853-4266, Ext. 309.
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