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Natural gas to grow the most as coal’s prominence fades: Frost & Sullivan

According to reports, an analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Annual Global Power Generation Forecasts 2012, finds that during the current decade, gas will see the highest growth rate among the major fuels.

Nuclear power, despite some delays after the Fukushima disaster, will also expand strongly due to the large number of nuclear plants currently under construction, particularly in Asia, the analysis says.

Strong growth is also projected for renewable energy, with non-hydro renewables (wind, solar PV, CSP, biomass, geothermal and marine) substantially expanding their share of power generation over the next two decades, it said.

“The growth of coal is not far behind as emerging nations such as China and India rely strongly on this fuel,” noted Frost & Sullivan Analyst.

Nevertheless, growth of coal-fired generation is expected to fall massively during the subsequent decade as developed countries decommission capacity and emerging nations become more diversified in their fuel mix, it said.

Over the next two decades, the traditional developed regions will lose ground in electricity demand to emerging markets, the analysis showed. “Rapid urbanisation and the creation of a middle class will drive electricity consumption in these economies as a wealthier population takes up electric appliances that are considered standard in the developed world,” it pointed out.

The bulk of this growth is anticipated to come from India, China and Asean, with the combined share of these three regions rising from 27.5 per cent in 2010 to 40.1 per cent in 2030. The power generated by China is forecast to exceed that of North America by 2015.

Over the 2010-2030 period, the combined share of the developed regions of EU, North America and OECD APAC in global power output will drop from 48.6 per cent in 2010 to 37.1 per cent in 2030.

“Russia will not match the growth rates witnessed in its BRIC peer nations, with its share of global power output gradually declining from 4.9 per cent in 2010 to 4.1 per cent in 2030,” it said adding that at the same time, electricity demand between 2010 and 2030 will rise fastest in India, followed by the ASEAN group of nations and then China.

The three developed regions of EU, North America and OECD APAC will all record relatively anaemic demand growth of 1 per cent per annum or less on average over the period as stagnant population increases and more efficient energy use curtail demand growth.

“Given their status as rapidly developing economies and future economic superpowers, it is not surprising that the share of China and India in global electricity generation is growing across all fuel sources,” remarked the analyst. “While both countries are very strong in hydro and wind power, it is in gas and nuclear that these nations will massively outpace developments elsewhere, albeit growing from currently very modest levels.”

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