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Binary Cycle to Emerge as Budding Technology in Geothermal Power Generation Plants, Predicts TMR

Posted on Jul 15, 2016

The geothermal power generation market is fragmented with no single company holding a significant market share, finds a new analysis by Transparency Market Research. The key players are currently confined regionally, which is expected to change in the coming years, as they start acquiring the assets abroad and diversify globally. The leading players in the geothermal power generation market are Chevron, Enel Green Power, Ormat Technologies, Inc., and Calpine Corporation. Mannvit is an emerging company in the market, which has established itself as a turnkey solution provider for geothermal project developments. 

The shares of state-owned or government companies will remain stagnant or decline in the future as many economies prefer investing in private sectors, suggests TMR. The market is expected to be consolidated in the future due to strategic alliances and mergers by smaller companies with bigger players. This will increase the asset base of the smaller companies, thus enabling them to pursue their desired investments in geothermal projects.

Environmental Benefits to Drive Demand for Geothermal Power Generation

Geothermal power generation plants emit negligible carbon dioxide as compared to conventional power systems driven by coal. The significantly lower greenhouse emissions, reduced emission of other air pollutants, and the minimal use of water makes geothermal power generation plants eco-friendly. Plants using binary cycle technology emit virtually no carbon dioxide and thus form an attractive option for power generation in terms of environmental compliance perspective.

Geothermal power plants have much lesser land requirements as compared to other power plants, thus driving their demand. They have very high capacity utilization, which means increased power generation. This in turn translates into higher revenue generation, thus propelling the demand for geothermal power plants. Furthermore, geothermal plants have the capacity to operate 24 hours a day, which is another factor encouraging their demand.

Plant Set-up Restricted by Dependence on Areas Having High Underground Temperature

One of the primary restraints, which the global geothermal power plants market face, is the extreme dependence on particular types of locations for the plant set-up. As this form of energy makes use of the heat from the earth’s crust to produce steam, which runs the turbines, it is of utmost importance for the presence of heat resources in the setting up of these plants.

There are very limited areas in the world that have extremely high underground temperatures viable for the set-up of geothermal power generation plants. This makes the Pacific Rim one of the most favorable locations for harnessing geothermal energy. Any major developments in the geothermal power generation market is therefore expected in the regions surrounding the Pacific Rim. This is limiting the growth of the industry in most other regions and thus players need to invest carefully.

Another challenging factor that’s hampering the growth of the market is the risk of running out of steam over a period of time. This magnifies the resource availability constraints and limits the growth of the geothermal power generation market.

Binary Cycle Technology: A Feasible Way of Harnessing Geothermal Energy in Low Heat Content

As stated before, the availability of locations with extreme heat resources is one of the major problems in the harnessing of geothermal energy. The development of a technology that allows for the harnessing of energy even in low quality heat, thus becomes essential. Hence, binary cycle has emerged as a type of technology that can result in efficient energy generation even in low quality resources of heat. Plants making use of this technology, pass the water that gets heated by the earth’s surface through a heat exchanger. Thus, binary cycle plants enable the efficient use of geothermal resources and will open many new doors of opportunities in the market.

APAC Accounts for the Highest Installed Capacity of Geothermal Power Plants

The APAC region has the highest installed capacity in the world, followed by North America. The market in the APAC region is expected to grow at a 7.28% CAGR between 2013 and 2019. The market in the Rest of the World looks promising, states a TMR analyst, owing to capacity additions and likelihood of future investments. The availability of high temperature resources in these areas is also a reason why the market is expected boom in the coming years.

On the basis of technology, the global geothermal power generation market was led by the flash plants segment in 2012. “The flash plants segment will lose their leading position to binary cycle power plants in the coming years,” states the analysts.

The global geothermal power generation market is expected to expand at a stupendous CAGR of 23.58% from 2013 to 2019. The market which was valued at US$2.5 bn in 2013, is expected to be worth US$8.9 bn by 2019, as per TMR.

This information is based on the findings of a report published by Transparency Market Research titled “Geothermal Power Generation Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2013 - 2019.”

The global geothermal power generation market has been segmented as below:

Technology

  • Dry steam
  • Flash steam
  • Binary cycle

 Geography

  • North America
    • The U.S.
    • Mexico
  • Europe
    • Italy
    • Iceland
    • Germany
    • France (Guadeloupe)
    • Portugal
    • Russia (Kamchatka)
    • Turkey
    • Austria
  • Asia Pacific
    • Japan
    • Papua New Guinea
    • The Philippines
    • New Zealand
    • Indonesia
    • Australia
    • China
    • Thailand
  • RoW (Rest of the World)
    • Kenya
    • Nicaragua
    • Costa Rica
    • Guatemala
    • Ethiopia
    • El Salvador

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