Annual installations of natural gas generator sets are expected to grow from 12.9 GW in 2015 to more than 27.1 GW in 2024, according to a new report from Navigant Research.
Used for emergency standby, prime, peaking, or continuous power, gensets fueled by natural gas are poised for rapid growth in the coming years, particularly in markets where inexpensive natural gas is widely available, such as North America.
Economic growth in the developing world, meanwhile, is increasing the demand for reliable backup power — and it is hard to beat the reliability and quick response time of a genset.
“The reciprocating engines used in natural gas gensets represent a widespread and mature technology used for all types of power generation, from small portable gensets to larger industrial engines that power generators of several megawatts,” says Taylor Embury, research analyst with Navigant Research. “These engines also come in a variety of configurations that can serve multiple applications.”
The higher capital costs and fuel delivery infrastructure requirements of natural gas gensets have historically been a disadvantage versus diesel gensets. Today, though, the line between natural gas and diesel gensets is becoming blurred with the increasing popularity of dual-fuel gensets, according to the report. These systems offer the energy content of diesel while taking advantage of the low price and low emissions of natural gas.