The North America thermal power market is expected to rise at a CAGR of more than 0.5% during 2020 - 2025. Factors such as increasing investments in thermal power plants are likely to drive the market. However, an increase in renewable energy share in the total power generation mix and as an economically viable cleaner alternative is expected to restrain the growth of the market.
- Natural gas provides for a large amount of electricity in the region and is expected to dominate the thermal power market in the forecast period. The application of natural gas as an intermediary for transitioning to renewable energy is expected to aid the market.
- The technological advancements in efficiency and reduction in the harmful emissions from thermal power projects are expected to create ample opportunity for market players.
- The United States is expected to be the largest market for the region's thermal power market due to increasing investment in the sector and the highest installed capacity of thermal power energy in the region.
Key Market Trends
Natural Gas to Dominate the Market
- Natural gas is among the cleanest fuels, which can provide electricity at an industrial scale economically. Gas-fired power generation is expected to displace coal capacity in the region in the coming decades. Moreover, investments in renewables are expected to grow significantly, the flexibility afforded by gas-fired power generation is expected to continue to be in demand.
- Among the most significant drivers of the natural gas thermal power plants is its use as backup power for unreliability in renewable sources like wind and solar. Natural gas plants can start running in short notice, which can increase the utility grid's reliability. Thereby, aiding the growth of the market.
- Primary energy provided by Natural gas, in the region, decreased by 3%, to 36.93 exajoules, in 2019 from 38.04 exajoules, in 2018. This trend of a decrease in natural gas primary energy consumption is expected to restrain the market.
- In 2019, the state power utility company - the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) of Mexico, approved the building of three natural gas-fired power plants with a total capacity of 1,720MW. The projects are expected to be built in the center and northeast of the country. Increasing thermal power projects are expected to aid the growth of the market.
- Primary energy consumption in the region decreased by 1%, to 116.58 exajoules, in 2019 from 117.79 exajoules, in 2018. The reduction in primary energy consumption in the country is expected to restrain the growth of the market.
- Hence, natural gas is expected to dominate the market in the forecast period due to rising investments in the field.
United States to Dominate the Market
- Gas is expected to play a crucial role in the United States, even in states that have full decarbonization policies. There is also an expectation of an increase in the clean gas technologies in the coming years with an increase in the efficiency of the power plants.
- Primary energy consumption in the region decreased by 1%, to 94.65 exajoules, in 2019 from 95.60 exajoules, in 2018. The reduction in primary energy consumption in the country is expected to restrain the growth of the market.
- In the United States, the different states are following different paths for the establishment of thermal power plants. For example, the state of California is dominated by Natural gas, but the state is pushing its utilities to replace natural gas power plants with renewables and other resources. Other states like in the mid-west are following a more natural gas-based approach for their energy needs.
- In 2019, the Florida Public Service Commission approved a pair of new gas-fired power plants needed to serve the future power demand of cooperative electric customers. Regulators say the combined projects will save customers USD 363 million. Seminole Electric Cooperative is expected to construct a new 1.1 GW plant in Putnam County, expected in service in 2022. Shady Hills Energy Center is expected to build a new 573 MW natural gas facility in Pasco County, which is expected to be in service in late 2021.
- The country has seen a significant increase in shale oil and gas production, which has drastically reduced the dependence of the United States on the global energy supply chains. Reduction in the prices of natural gas has further aided the growth of the thermal power market.
- Hence, the United States is expected to dominate the North America thermal power market due to significant scale investments in the sector.
The North America thermal power market is partially fragmented. Some of the key players in this market include NextEra Energy, Inc., Dominion Energy, Inc., Duke Energy Corporation, Southern Company, American Electric Power Company Inc
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