How the last ten years compare to the next ten

Turbomachinery Magazine, Handbook 2021,

Every year, our Turbomachinery Handbook features two thorough market analyses from Industrial Info Resources (IIR) and Forecast International. Let’s look at the numbers to see what they tell us.

The IIR review of the U.S. power market makes it clear that renewables rule. Coal and nuclear are gone in terms of new build. Natural gas has been sidelined in the Northeast, Texas, Midwest, Rocky Mountain region and West.

If you take everything west of the Mississippi, natural gas will amount to roughly 8% of all power generation plant construction planned over the next five years. East of that line the picture is a little rosier. 39% for the Great Lakes region, 53% for the Southeast, and 43% for the Mid-Atlantic. However, the Northeast is down to 22% and the grand prize goes to New England at 1%.

New England appears to represent a grander experiment than California or Texas when it comes to the establishment of policy heavily favoring renewables. The Golden State and the Lone Star State can at least look forward to plenty of sunshine as well as excellent natural corridors with strong winds. New England does not boast such riches. Further, it has been steadily shuttering nuclear and coal plants. Within a few years, it could become overly reliant on wind and solar. Will the lights stay on in Boston, Bridgeport, and Burlington? And Harrisburg, Hackensack, and Harlem? Let’s hope so.

It will be interesting to see if GE can strengthen its position in the coming years or if Siemens and Mitsubishi gain ground.

Small turbine decline

I happened upon a Turbomachinery Handbook from 10 years ago. Back in 2010, Forecast International correctly predicted a steep drop off in new gas turbine capacity additions between 2013 and 2019. But few expected the decline in the number of gas turbines being sold. In 2010, 11,480 machines were forecast to be built over the next ten years. In this new report, the total is down to 4,291 over 10 years.

Solar Turbines led unit sales back in 2010. It traditionally accounted for more than 30% of units sold. This year, it is down to third place with 20% of the market, beaten by GE (30%) and Siemens Energy (22%).

The decline is not so steep on value of gas turbines to be sold per decade – down from a prediction of $138 billion over 10 years in 2010 to $102 billion in the new study. This indicates a shift to bigger-ticket, large-capacity turbines and away from smaller machines.

On the vendor side, GE dominated all others with 43% of predicted gas turbine sales value in 2010. It sits about the same level today. But its competitors are closing the gap. Siemens Energy moved from 14% share to 26%; Mitsubishi Power from 11% to 15%. With GE emerging from a few years of reorganization, it will be interesting to see if it can strengthen its position in the coming years or if Siemens and Mitsubishi gain ground.

Handbook contents

Be sure and read our two market reports to gain insight into the U.S power market and worldwide gas turbine trends. As well as our regular columns, Q&A, news, and products, the Turbomachinery Handbook also contains detailed company listings and equipment specifications.

The listings are compiled each year by the meticulous Bob Maraczi. They consist of alphabetized and categorized lists of companies in the many disciplines that make up the turbomachinery sector. Bob is thanked for his great work.

The specifications were compiled for the first time by associate editor Rory Pasquariello. He has done a fine job gathering specs from a great many companies in equipment areas such as electric power generation, combined cycle, gas turbines, compressors, expanders, and steam turbines.

The 2021 Turbomachinery Handbook, then, is one to keep handy all year round. Its value extends far beyond that of a regular issue. ■