It's about the fossil fuels, stupid!


It’s all about coal and gas in the global electricity generation market, according to the forthcoming Key Trends in the Global Power and Energy Market report, from analysts Frost & Sullivan.

A press release issued this week to publicize the report opened with news of how the growth of renewables is changing business models for utilities and of a predicted mushrooming of the lith-ion battery energy storage market, perhaps not surprising given the source was the PR Newswire agency owned by veteran investor – and apparent renewable energy convert – Warren Buffett.

But the crux of the report, the subject of an online conference on Thursday, appears to be that coal will remain the main source of electricity generation worldwide up to 2030 and that, after that, "gas is clearly a fuel of the future."

Gas order volumes growing

The report points out gas order volumes are rising in China, Japan, South Korea, Latin America and the U.S. and remain consistently high in the Middle East as consumption is set to grow by 65% worldwide up to 2040.

The authors add, despite falling order volumes in Europe and a falling off of investment in Russia, a lack of viable alternatives mean energy consuming mega markets in China and India are looking to gas as generators seek to diversify away from coal.

With UBS Bank having recently told investors advances in battery storage, driven by electric vehicle take-up, will make traditional centralized power plants obsolete, the only sop to renewables in the Frost and Sullivan report appears to be that the lith-ion battery storage market is predicted to grow from last year’s $442 million to $28.7 billion by 2020.