The market for microturbine products will be a significant niche, totaling $2.4 billion to $8 billion by 2010; more than 50 percent of that market will be international. That’s one of the conclusions reached by microturbine stakeholders, according to a GRI consensus market forecast.
Microturbines, typically operating in the 25 kW to 300 kW range, are modular turbine units being touted for their operating efficiencies, high reliability and low emissions. This line of products is of growing interest for distributed power generation-the placement of small generation units close to the customer to achieve cost, efficiency and reliable-power benefits.
The purpose of the project was to develop an expert-based perspective of the microturbine opportunity, to separate hype from economic reality. Thirty-seven experts, representing microturbine manufacturers, utilities, venture capital firms, energy service companies, government entities and other stakeholder organizations, were interviewed and surveyed.
The study concludes, while initial sales of microturbines will occur primarily in North America, more than 50 percent of sales will be international by 2010. Many stakeholders feel microturbines can provide eight percent of the estimated one million MW of new power capacity that will be needed by 2010.
Manufacturers, experts and utilities believe growth rate and market acceptance will be greater internationally, in the long run, because:
- Fewer barriers are likely to be imposed by existing utilities, power providers or regulators;
- Fewer interconnection issues will arise because many applications will be for prime power without grid interconnection; and
- Shorter value chains are expected, which would reduce cost premiums.
Other conclusions were:
Additional information about GRI’s “Microturbine Market and Industry Study” (GRI-00/ 0073) is available at 773-399-8100, or e-mail www.gri.org.