Steam turbines are widely used in multiple regions and industries for their high-power generation potential. Typically, these turbines generate electricity after heating water and converting pressurized steam into mechanical energy. Multiple industries adopt the usage of steam turbine services for power, including sugar plants, chemicals, pulp and paper, and refinery power plants.
Overall, steam turbines are responsible for creating big amounts of energy in each cycle. This is why bigger power plants install these turbines more frequently.
Currently, the market of steam turbines is noticing a visible upward growth rate. Statistically, it is expected that the steam turbine market value would reach $30.2 billion by 2027; in 2019, the valuation was $24.1 billion. Multiple manufacturers currently in the market are concentrating on the research and development of new innovations for optimizing steam turbine operations.
The increased focus is strengthening the steam turbine industry globally. Plus, these vendors are emphasizing cleaner coal-based technology generation as well; this is an additional contributing factor to this market value hike.
In this article, you would get a more detailed analysis of the market outlook of this industry in the long-term sense.
Factors for the potential growth of the steam turbine industry
At the moment, most consumers, brands, and manufacturers are focusing on reducing the carbon footprint for environmental protection. Thus, the industry has been noticing newer regulatory measures to ensure this decrease. Also, bigger investments into developing large-scale projects for thermal power generation are visible in the market. Both factors are contributing to the increase in the steam turbine industry market size.
Moreover, there is a huge demand among consumers for electricity and power to sustain the current technologically advanced services. Thus, more initiatives are available to handle the increasing demand-supply gap via strengthening the industrial infrastructure. This is expected to highlight the steam turbine industry market growth as well.
Other notable factors include the burgeoning growth of the global economy. Plus, consumers and organizations are focusing highly on environmentally conscious initiatives for power generation. This has led to the increased concentration of low emission fuel usage, including biomass and natural gas. Brands are focusing on long-term cogeneration techniques for energy optimization.
Also, the steam cycle-centric steam turbine market will potentially keep growing due to lowered dependency on fossil fuel choices for power generation. This is expected to continue increasing; and would likely help maintain the steam turbine’s long-standing market outlook.
Categories of cogeneration power plants for energy generation
There are three categories available related to cogeneration plant construction.
- Development of latest green-field facilities for energy generation.
- Simple-cycle gas turbine-based power plants converting into combined-cycle systems. This is possible after steam turbines and heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs) are added to the model.
- Adoption of gas turbines in the simple-cycle turbine plant after removing the boiler house within.
To note, many enterprises focus on the last option more.
Fuel-based outlook of the steam turbine availability in the market
Multiple industries are opting for gas-powered power plant alternatives. However, steam turbines still dominate a major portion of the global energy output capacity. In steam turbines, particular fuel sources burn to produce steam after mixing with water. A valuable point here is that power plant operators and manufacturers can choose between many types of fuel. Indeed, common options include lignite (brown coal) and anthracite (black coal).
In this context, it is important to mention that coal is slowly losing dominance among the available fuel options. This is possible due to the increased global focus on climate change conditions and general health management. Many regions are choosing gas-powered power plant alternatives; although areas like Eastern Europe and the Far East are likely to continue utilizing steam turbine-based power generation.
Yet, it is worth noting that gas turbines have very high exhaust temperatures. This can waste a lot of combustion-based generated energy. Instead, steam turbine can recover from such wasted energy and it recycles the excess steam for multiple cycles.
It is expected that the usage of the combined-cycle turbines will gain higher popularity over single-cycle gas and steam turbines. Yet, in the long run, this would help the steam turbine industry more. Currently, land-based energy generation facilities notice more design constraints and operational demands. They are not similar to the trends visible in the naval or marine propulsion industry that utilizes gas turbines.
However, at the time, combined-cycle operations, with a higher performance efficiency and lower emission rates are gaining popularity in the naval industry. Thereafter, this can increase the growth rate of COGES or combined gas and steam turbine plants in this industry. Therefore, with this adoption, gas turbines are less likely to overpass the steam turbine industry entirely.
To note, isolated steam turbines produce clean power as well. Currently, Research and Development (R&D) practices are underway concerning the use of non-polluting and renewable resources for driving the steam turbines. If the initiative gets sanctioned, industries globally will accept steam turbines as environmentally safe.
Thus, multiple solar energy-based steam turbines are increasing in popularity in highly sun-lit regions. It is expected that this technology would gain prominence in the long-term sense. However, some issues are still possible in the development stage; they are under evaluation currently.