Gas Turbines utilize natural gas for generating electric power. They are complex high technology engines, with the growing demand for energy and power, the market is projected to grow at a significant pace. Gas turbines usually range from a size less than 1 MW to close to 400 MW. Today, gas turbines are highly efficient with an efficiency of around 40-45%. Normally, these systems are designed as stand-alone engines that are capable of burning a fuel for driving a generator. The most common fuel used is natural gas, however, liquid fuels and a range of gases derived from biomass can also be used for power generation.
Beyond Power Generation
Apart from generating power, gas turbines are used for other applications as well. These include their utilization in aeronautics, to power ships, trucks, and military tanks. For moving an aircraft, there is a requirement of some propulsion system for generating thrust. All gas turbine engines contain a combustion section, a compressor, a turbine, and inlet and a nozzle. The compressor, burner, and turbine are known as the core of the engine. The core is also known as the gas generator, this is due to the fact that output of the core is hot exhaust gas. The gas is passed through a nozzle for producing thrust for the jet engine and is used to drive the turbine. Significant investments in aeronautics sector will provide an opportunity for the global gas turbine market to thrive. For example, the aeronautics and defense industry of Europe is mainly driven by research and development activities and significant investments. R&D is referred to as the activities that companies and public stakeholders take up for the improvement or development of novel products and services. In 2018, the aeronautics and defense research and development expenditure through industry and government was estimated to be around €19bn. The R&D expenditure was divided equally for military and civil applications. The R&D investment for the United States, on the other hand is much more than the European region. In 2018, the research and development investment of the US was over four times more than that of the European region. For the European industry to stay ahead in the rapidly-changing innovation race, the support of the national government and the European Union holds importance.
In February 2020, it was announced that aerospace industry in Singapore will receive an investment of around USD360 million over the time period 2020-2025. The announcement was made as the global companies in the city state bolstered their position by establishment of new bases or expansion of facilities. An agreement was signed between the firms GE Aviation, Rolls-Royce, and Safran Aircraft Engines and JTC, Singapore Government Agency for novel or expanded facilities. JTC is a land developer that is involved in managing the Stelar Aerospace Park in Northeastern Singapore among other industrial sites. The park is poised to be expanded to incorporate nine ready-built standard factories for aerospace manufacturing and maintenance, repair, overhaul (MRO) activity. The new standard factories are set to include industry requirements in order to accommodate industry 4.0 technologies and utilize heavier and larger equipment.
Natural Gas Consumption
Increasing natural gas consumption in the world is contributing to augmenting the market growth. As natural gas is the most commonly used gas for driving gas turbines, the increasing consumption will put a positive effect on the market growth as well. As per the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the global consumption of natural gas is projected to grow over 40% between the time period 2018 to 2050. The total natural gas consumption is estimated to achieve close to 200 quadrillion Btu by the end of 2050. It is analyzed that the consumption of natural gas is more in the non-OECD regions in comparison to the OECD countries. This is due to the rising demand from enhanced industrial activity, natural gas-fired electricity generation, and demand from the transportation sector using liquified natural gas as fuel. In the non-OECD countries, the consumption of natural gas grew from around 70 quadrillion Btu to achieve 120 quadrillion Btu from 2018 to 2050. An increase by 70%. The natural gas consumption for electricity generation in the non-OECD regions is predicted to increase by over 60%, with 1.5% y-o-y growth during the same time period. This accounted for part of 2.2% y-o-y growth in electricity demand in these regions. While in the OECD countries, demand for natural gas in the power sector is estimated to grow at 0.3% y-o-y, in addition, electricity demand is growing at 0.9% every year. In these regions, the total natural gas consumption is projected to increase by 17% from 2018 to 2050. During the same time period, the non-OECD share of the global natural gas consumption is projected to rise from around 51% to 61%.
Source: EIA.Gov, Increasing Natural Gas Consumption in Non-OECD Countries, 2018-2050
Source: EIA.Gov, Increasing Non-OECD Share of Global Natural Gas Consumption, 2018-2050
Available Gas Turbine Products
The presence of companies manufacturing gas turbines that are industry-specific are further contributing to enhancing global gas turbine market growth.
Siemens diverse gas turbine portfolio is designed according to the specific market needs. The products include reliable gas turbines containing aeroderivative, industrial, and heavy-duty gas turbine products up to 593 megawatt. The benefits include low lifecycle costs and an exceptional return on investment. Some of the gas turbine applications include oil and gas applications, industrial power generation, and power production. Innovations have led to the development of turbines for seafloat power plants, products include gas turbine series like SGT 800, A-65, and 8000H. Seafloat power plants are capable of providing electrification to remote areas, further helping in enhancing development in these regions and contributing to economic growth in the remote areas. This shift from land-based power plants will further provide support to countries that constantly face problems of destroyed infrastructure resulting from hurricanes and earthquakes.
GE, a leader in gas turbine technology manufactures gas turbines that are efficient and reliable along with being versatile with an individual output that ranges from 34 MW to 571 MW. They perform in simple and combined cycle operation for power generation, co-generation, mechanical drive, and waste-to-power. Products include H-class gas turbines, F-class gas turbines, E and B-class gas turbines, and aeroderivative gas turbines.