The Australian thermal power market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 1.4% in the forecast period of 2020 - 2025. Factors such as increasing population and power consumption are resulting in the growth of the thermal power market. With growing power demand, the demand for new power generating capacity is growing which, in turn, is expected to drive the market significantly. On the other hand, phasing out of coal-based thermal plants and rising competition from renewables are some factors that are hindering the market growth.
- Australia has vast reserves of natural gas. Moreover, natural gas holds the largest share in power generation and is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period.
- According to the Australian Energy Market Operator, regions like Queensland and New South Wales are expected to witness significant growth in energy demand, in the long run, creating opportunities in the energy market.
- Australia has several power plants and under construction and under the planning phase, which is likely to drive the thermal power in the nation significantly.
Key Market Trends
Natural Gas-Based Power to Witness Significant Growth
- Power generation in Australia is dominated by fossil fuels, including oil, gas, and coal. In 2019, coal was dominating the power generation. However, the country is continuously decreasing the share of coal in power generation.
- With increased production and to meet the growing power demand, the share of natural gas is expected to grow significantly during the forecast period.
- In 2019, AGL Energy Ltd.’s Barker Inlet power plant started operations. The USD 204 million facilities in South Australia has 210 megawatts of capacity and was installed to supplement varying and insufficient renewable energy.
- Energy Australia is planning to construct a gas-fired power station, “Marulan Power Station,” at Marulan near Goulburn in New South Wales. The project is likely to increase the share of natural gas in power generation in the coming period.
- Natural gas held a significant share of electricity generation in Australia. With 54 TWh of electricity in 2019, the share of natural gas is expected to grow in the forecast period.
- With advantages like low emissions in comparison to coal and fewer harms in comparison to nuclear, the market share of natural gas in power generation is likely to grow in the future.
Dynamic Characteristics of Thermal Power Market Amidst Growth in Renewable Energy Sector
- Despite a share of more than 79% in electricity generation, the share of thermal power is expected to decrease with growing investments in renewable energy.
- Additionally, coal plants, which are the primary source of electricity generation in Australia, are entering their mature phase, resulting in the decommissioning of multiple coal thermal power plants.
- On the other hand, in 2019, the government announced 12 new power projects, including natural gas, pumped hydropower, and one coal-fired plant, to increase power supply and bring down energy prices. The projects are expected to boost the thermal power market in the future significantly.
- In December 2019, the government announced to underwrite two gas power plants: APA Group’s proposed 220MW generator in Dandenong, Victoria, and Quinbrook’s proposed 132MW facility in Gatton, Queensland.
- Although Australia is shifting towards renewable and green energy, due to the huge dependency on fossil fuels for power generation, thermal power market is likely to grow considerably during the forecast period.
The Australian thermal power market is moderately consolidated. Some of the major companies include Origin Energy Ltd, Stanwell Corporation Limited, InterGen Services, Inc, EnergyAustralia Holdings Ltd, and AGL Energy Limited.
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