With Nicaragua and Syria committed to joining the Paris Agreement to tackle climate change, USA is now the only country withholding their participation in this global effort. Earlier in the year, President Donald Trump had also signed an executive order to repeal USA’s Clean Power Plan.
This, on the face of it, may seem like the gradual end for mass-deployed renewable energy systems, CHP (cogeneration) or energy efficiency solutions in USA. Here, at Delta-ee, we don’t believe so.
In defiance, some US States have ramped up their support for emissions reduction, and seem more galvanised than ever. Luckily, in the USA, many of the support programmes are State rather than Federal based. A possible, but unlikely, caveat to this is if the Trump administration revokes States’ unique rights to implement their own policies (e.g. which it almost tried to do with California’s strict tailpipe emission standards, but eventually backed-off).
As long as enough “influential” and “volume-market” States (like California) press on with strict environmental policies, manufacturers will be under pressure to follow the more stringent standards to avoid having to manufacture different versions of their products for different States (despite national standards being less strict).
Cleaner, less polluting, or more energy efficient technologies are here to stay.
And fossil fuels can still play a part. Acknowledgement of natural gas-based CHP as an energy-efficient and reliable technology is slowly emerging amongst policy-makers and utilities, with more States offering credits or improved policy incentives. While some CHP market players have focused their product strategy in USA on reducing emissions (NOx and SOx) [even if that means slightly lower electrical efficiencies] and have achieved relative success.
Natural gas gensets or CHP can help with existing energy system resiliency challenges (especially for critical infrastructure buildings like hospitals during natural disasters), and in larger plants also offer flexible generation to complement intermittent renewable energy. We expect the installed capacity of non-dispatchable resources such as wind and solar to rise as individual States increase efforts to meet renewable energy generation targets by 2020-2025, with California in particular aggressively pursuing a renewable energy mix share of 33% by 2020. Demand for flexibility, quick start-up capability, and other ancillary services is expected to grow as a result.
It is no wonder that USA tops Delta-ee’s ranking of global Gas Engine Markets for Stationary Power Applications (see below). To find out more about Delta-ee’s Global ranking study and which countries made our top list, please contact [email protected]
Figure 1: Global market sizing - >400kWe gas engine market for stationary power applications
Note: The graphs below only relate to natural gas, biogas, and other gaseous-based engines in stationary power applications [i.e. no dual-fuel, diesel, HFO-based engines, or rental units < 3 years].