Developments in the commercial domain reveal lucrative market opportunities for generator sets for standby and base power application. In areas where renewable energy technologies are not viable, generator sets continue as the power source of choice because of their simple operating mechanism and easy installation.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (energy.frost.com), North American Generator Set Markets, finds that the market earned revenues of $2.98 billion in 2006 and expects to reach $4.29 billion in 2013.
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The North American generator set market is mature, but far from saturated, as is evident from its dynamic growth in the last few years. The commercial sector end-user group contributes heavily to this growth due to increased construction of new telecom and IT offices, buildings and data centers, as well as the booming resource sector. The high sales figures of small generator sets are indicative of the rapid growth of the computer industry.
“Telecommunication towers are increasingly upgraded from battery back-up to generator sets, which are an improvement over the former, as batteries tend to add more heat and require more equipment,” says Frost & Sullivan Director of Energy and Power Systems, Roberta Gamble. “IT companies need prompt Internet connectivity and uninterrupted operations, generating demand for back-up power and also increasing sales of generator sets in the low-end range.”
The opening of several new revenue streams should not slacken manufacturers’ focus on factors such as the Environmental Agency’s (EPA) present and future regulations regarding emission controls. While these regulations are likely to be more stringent, there will be additional threats from increased robustness of power infrastructure in the region and growing awareness of renewable energy technologies.
“North America is notorious for its greenhouse gas emissions and there is pressure on generator set end users to periodically improve and renew their fleet with the changes in engine technology and emission laws,” observes Gamble. “Gradually, the market may also see a shift toward renewable energy technologies that are deemed more environmentally friendly and may also carry reduced operation and maintenance costs.
“To prevent this situation, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and generator dealers must show greater prudence while devising their marketing and distribution strategies. They have to highlight their products’ benefits of standby application, quick generation of power for peak shaving purposes and cost effectiveness in case of blackouts to compete effectively with new technologies on more than just price.”
However many end users still prefer generator sets to alternative power sources for their easy availability, lower capital expense and simplicity of operations.
“Generator sets are gainful and cost-effective tools for energy-intensive companies and industries to meet their short-term power requirements as well as decrease their losses in case of outages,” notes Gamble. “Demand has been burgeoning for standby applications of generator sets, as well as peak shaving applications during summer months, when additional power capacity is required.”
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