In-depth knowledge of the energy market can significantly boost suppliers’ sales30 Juni 2012World population growth and increasing industrialization in emerging economies are driving the global demand for energy at an unprecedented rate. In the coming years, power generation growth rates will typically lie above the industry average. Many companies will thus be well advised to develop an appropriate strategy, even if they have not hitherto been active in the energy market.
Power generation capacities will expand predominantly in the emerging markets. This will be achieved through construction of new conventional power plants, as well as through increased accessibility of alternative sources of energy such as wind, solar, or hydroelectric power. In developed countries growth will be attained primarily through expansion of existing structures. Moreover, a significant increase in the contribution of renewable energies to the overall energy mix will be sought.
The technology of conventional steam power plants is largely mature. Nonetheless, there is still room for further incremental enhancements of energy efficiency and such innovations are welcomed. A similar situation exists for hydroelectric power generation. More significant technological advances are expected for the comparatively young wind and solar energy industries. For wind power plants there is a noticeable trend toward direct-drive technology. Size and performance of the plants still have to be optimized.
In the solar industry new cell technologies are on the cusp of commercial viability. Furthermore, different concepts for large-scale solar power plants are currently being tested. This also applies to innovative wave and tidal power stations, whose commercial success, however, still seems a long way off.
Crucial to the establishment of alternative electricity generation technologies, and thus to the growth prospects for the industry, are first and foremost government grants and attractive funding conditions for investors.
Also geography and environmental conditions such as sunlight, wind-frequency/force, or ocean currents play a vital role in providing a reliable alternative to classical electricity generation. All these factors require reliable data, which need to be collected and evaluated for a realistic assessment of the market prospects.
If companies wish to identify opportunities in the power generation market and develop marketing strategies accordingly, they need to initially pinpoint potential applications for their existing product range in the various power generating technologies and gain an understanding of industry-specific market needs. They require familiarity with existing market structures, in particular value chains and the competitive landscape, to assure an efficient marketing approach. Additionally, a reliable assessment of the future development of the industry is necessary in order to create a viable business plan. All this can be achieved through a well-structured and in-depth market investigation by an experienced consulting company.