Power generation is experiencing a series of trends which will shape the market for decades to come. Coal is seemingly on a terminal decline, to be replaced by natural gas, and renewable energy is making substantial strides to become more commercially relevant. Advances ensure new power sources are moving closer to becoming part of the mainstream, with problems such as using renewable energy on demand now being solved. Leading companies in power generation must stay ahead of the development curve in these areas; failure to do so will mean allowing rivals to gain crucial competitive advantages at a time of great change.
Key questions answered
- What advances have occurred in renewable energy?
- What future is there for coal in the modern power market?
- Can energy storage realize the full potential of renewable energy?
- Why is gas now overtaking coal in the developed world?
- Can next generation renewable technology be successful?
- Explores developments in the next generation of renewable technology
- Looks at the condition of conventional renewable energy
- Assesses the impact of gas on the international market
- Analyses the future of coal as a source of power
- Whilst exciting advances are being made in the next generation of renewable technologies, conventional renewable energy is also making large strides towards becoming a major part of the global power generation market.
- Able to release energy over a sustained period of time, rather than short bursts achieved with batteries, molten salt is now being combined with renewable energy, enabling access on demand to renewable energy.
- Power producers are increasingly moving away from coal, creating merger and acquisition activity as firms diversify into natural gas. No longer is coal a sustainable business for power companies on a long-term basis.
Conventional renewable power is experiencing rapid change
Solar energy advances increase performance, facilitating wider usage
Subsidies are beginning to drop, causing renewable energy to stand unsupported
Advances in technology exert downward pressure on prices, driving progress towards wider use
Next generation renewable energy to shake up power grid
Solar furnaces are becoming more powerful, creating a new option in renewable energy
Tidal and wave power generation moves closer to commercial viability, potentially transforming energy markets
Geothermal energy is edging towards mainstream power generation, helping developing countries
Capacity to store energy could change power generation
Molten salt does what alternatives do not - supply energy over prolonged periods of time
Experimental power storage systems brings energy storage into homes, potentially turning homes into micro-power stations
Energy storage can aid energy systems in developing world
Natural gas is catching coal amid push for lower carbon emissions
Natural gas fired power plants overtake coal in developed nations
Coal power plants are closing as energy providers move elsewhere, leaving way open for natural gas
Liquefied Natural Gas playing increasing role in speeding up transition from coal to gas
Despite quickening decline, Coal remains important and is becoming more efficient
Ultra-supercritical coal finds significant gains in efficiency, slowing decline in usage
Coal is in decline but will continue to be dominant power source
Conventional renewable energy is making strides in commercial viability
Next generation of renewable energy has substantial potential - successfully tapping it shall become more important
Energy storage can change the nature of energy production, heralding an era of renewable energy
Transition from coal to natural gas is gathering pace - power generation companies are switching across
Despite decline, coal will remain relevant in many countries
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List of Figures
Figure 1: Borosil Glass Works 2mm tempered glass, 2017
Figure 2: Hinkley Point C, artists impression
Figure 3: European renewable energy volume (GWh) 2011-2016
Figure 4: Gemasolar power plant, Seville, Spain
Figure 5: MeyGen project
Figure 6: Cerro Dominador solar plant
Figure 7: Nigeria, Mambilla hydrodam under construction
Figure 8: Global power generation (quadrillion British Thermal Units) forecast for coal and natural gas
Figure 9: Floating LNG regasification capacity by region
Figure 10: UK coal production and consumption 1800-2016 (Million tons of oil equivalent)
Figure 11: US coal consumption 2006-2016 (millions tons oil equivalent)