Today: October 23, 2016, 8:12 am

Global power market: Thermal energy the key source of generation
Power Market in Key Countries (China, US, India, Germany, UK, Italy, Saudi Arabia and Brazil) - Capacity, Generation, Regulations Opportunities and Challenges to 2030 - a new market research report on 2014-04-17 18:33:01
Thermal energy is the dominant source of power generation across the globe and is expected to remain so for the foreseeable future. With the exception of Brazil, all of the countries covered in this report, namely India, China, Saudi Arabia, the US, the UK, Italy and Germany, use thermal power as their main source of power generation. In India, China and Germany, the majority of the installed capacity is coal-fired. In 2012, more than 70% of India´s power generation was estimated to have come from coal power alone, while China generated about 78% of its power through coal resources.

Both India and China have substantial coal reserves, due to which their dependence on coal reserves is expected to continue. However, these countries are actively trying to increase the share of renewable resources in their power mixes and reduce their dependence on coal, because it is considered one of the dirtiest fuels for power generation. Germany has already witnessed a substantial increase in its renewable-based power generation. In 2012, renewable power accounted for 20.5% of its annual power generation.

The UK, Italy and Saudi Arabia generated the majority of their power using natural gas as the primary fuel. In the UK, gas-fired power plants were estimated to have constituted 49.5% of its installed thermal capacity, in 2012. The US has also witnessed a shift towards gas-fired power generation, due to the supply of gas increasing because of the discovery of shale gas reserves. The abundant availability and low price of natural gas in the US has encouraged utilities to use natural gas as a primary source of generation. Brazil generates the smallest share from thermal power, because it has huge hydropower potential.

China, India, Brazil and Indonesia are expected to witness the highest capacity additions of the countries studied. Because of the steadily increasing power demand in these economies, due to growing industrialization and improving standards of living as well as the increased use of electronic appliances, a need has arisen in these countries to expand their power capacity. For instance, in China, between 2000 and 2012, the total installed capacity increased at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.9%. In the future, China plans significant capacity additions. From 2012 to 2030, its total capacity is expected to increase at a CAGR of 5.6%.

With the growing focus of governments on reducing greenhouse gases and increasing the role of clean power generation sources in national power mixes, renewable power generation is likely to witness robust growth. Between 2000 and 2012, the total installed renewable capacity across the globe is estimated to have grown at a CAGR of 19.3%. In most countries, renewable energy is expected to play a pivotal role in ensuring power supply security. For instance, in Germany, with the phasing out of nuclear power, the government´s attention is expected to be focused towards the promotion and development of renewable capacity.

Furthermore, various international organizations have also developed mandatory targets for their member countries to increase the share of renewable sources in their power mixes. The European Union (EU) plans to have at least 20% of its energy consumption be met though renewable resources by 2020. Such initiatives are expected to further drive the use of renewable energy sources in the future.

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