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Renewable energy boom to continue

Dec. 4, 2014 - More and more countries subsidize renewable energies. This policy will presumably result in the construction of more than 1,000 additional biomass power plants within the next 10 years. In some countries, however, subsidisation has already passed its peak, especially in Europe. 


December 4, 2014
By Ecoprog GmbH

Topics

Dec. 4, 2014 – More and more countries subsidize renewable energies. This policy will
presumably result in the construction of more than 1,000 additional biomass
power plants within the next 10 years. In some countries, however,
subsidisation has already passed its peak, especially in Europe. 

Electricity generation from solid biomass continues to increase throughout
the world. In late 2013, around 2,800 operational power plants worldwide
were incinerating biomass only or very large shares of this fuel. These
plants had an electricity generation capacity of about 42 GWel.
Additionally, around 350 fossil power plants were co-incinerating biomass.
In 10 years, there will be approximately 4,100 active plants with a capacity
of around 67 GWel. In 2014 alone, approximately 170 new power plants with
electricity generation capacities of around 3.6 GWel will be constructed. 
The subsidisation of renewable energies will remain the most important
market factor for the development of electricity generation from biomass.
Until early 2014, around 140 countries had introduced policies for such a
subsidisation. Most of them also had schemes for electricity generation from
solid biomass at that time. Vietnam, for instance, introduced a feed-in
tariff for biomass electricity some months ago. Around 40 countries
throughout the world have such compensations. Other countries have different
support schemes. Columbia, for instance, has recently reduced the turnover
tax on biomass electricity and Mexico has facilitated the access to the grid
for this type of electricity. 
Europe will remain the largest market for electricity generation from solid
biomass in the 10 years to come. In late 2013, Europe had around 1,200
active biomass power plants. This number will increase to approximately
1,750 by late 2023. The European market, however, is very fragmented and
preconditions for investments differ significantly in the individual
countries. Whereas more plants than ever are being built in Great Britain
and France, Spain, Latvia and the Czech Republic have reduced or even
stopped their subsidisation systems. Germany still grants, by international
comparison, high subsidies. The system, however, has lost most of its
incentive effects as all favourable locations have been developed for years. 
When considering the whole world, China, India, Brazil and the USA are the
most important markets at present. Asia and South America currently have the
most dynamic markets for biomass power plants. These regions have many yet
undeveloped favourable locations, e.g. in the sugar, rice and wood
industries. Low subsidies are enough to significantly increase the number of
projects in countries such as Indonesia or the Philippines, even though they
will not realise all their development plans in the years to come. 
The market for electricity generation from biomass is organised regionally
in many cases. Industries having a strong affinity for biomass (such as the
paper or sugar industries) remain the most important clients, with the
energy industry ranking second. 
Many plant manufacturers also have a regional focus and there are only few
global players. The regional strengths and weaknesses of the individual
technology providers often reflect the respective design of the
subsidisation schemes, for instance when it comes to plant sizes or fuels.
Brazil, for example, has providers focusing on incinerating sugar cane. The
support of small-scale plants in Austria has resulted in a larger number of
plant manufacturers in this segment. 
At present, the internationalising demand also leads to globalised
competition. In light of a growing number of saturated markets on their own
continent, pressure to internationalise business is especially strong for
the European plant manufacturers, which have the largest share of the world
market. More and more Chinese suppliers surge onto foreign markets as well. 
Our study “Biomass to Power” is the most extensive of its kind, as it is the
only analysis based on evaluating the plants existing throughout the world,
and not only on public statistics. You will find further information on the
fifth edition at: www.ecoprog.com. 
As a respected strategy consultancy, ecoprog accompanies clients from
Germany and abroad in dealing with implementation-oriented management issues
with political, technical or economic backgrounds in the environmental and
energy technology segments. We focus on strategy consulting, market and
competition analyses as well as multi-client studies.


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