BOULDER, Colo. — Installations of natural gas generator sets (gensets) are expected to grow from 2013 to 2018 to a total of 60 gigawatts of capacity, becoming a nearly $10 billion market by 2018, according to a new report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice.

Natural gas gensets are distributed power generation units that use reciprocating internal combustion engines to produce energy from gaseous fuels. Distributed generation has several advantages over traditional large centralized power stations, including going on-line more quickly, reducing demand pressure on the electrical grid, and reducing inefficiencies that are common in centralized power generation, transmission, and distribution.

“Until recently, the natural gas genset market has experienced steady growth, but a boom in unconventional gas resources and tightening regulations limiting stationary generator emissions point to accelerating growth over the next decade,” said senior research analyst Mackinnon Lawrence. “The number of specialized segments within the genset market — spanning power classes, applications, and end-use customers — offers a rich ecosystem of opportunities for market participants.”

The vast majority of power generation technologies used in distributed applications are reciprocating engines, according to the report. Reciprocating engines are well-suited for distributed power generation. They are widely used in the United States and Europe, and are supported by a highly developed sales and service infrastructure. Reciprocating engines start quickly, follow load well, have good part-load efficiencies, maintain efficiency and output under harsh conditions, and are generally highly reliable.

Publication date: 3/18/2013