The gas turbine sector in the US is expected to see its revenues plummet by 2018 but it will remain the largest market in the world in 2020.

Meanwhile, China’s market will climb steadily, bringing it close behind the US.

That’s the verdict of a new report from analysts at American research firm GlobalData.

The company anticipates US gas turbine revenue to fall from last year’s figure of $1.4bn to $231m by 2018.

However, it predicts that a large-scale decommissioning of coal plants will drive the need for more environmentally friendly gas-fired alternatives and push the US market value back up to $852m in 2020.

China’s gas turbine industry, however, “can expect to demonstrate a much steadier rate of growth until the end of the decade, with revenue climbing from last year’s total of $456m to $842m in 2020,” forecasts GlobalData.

China’s gains will be spurred on by the its rising electricity demand and the continued implementation of a fuel diversification strategy aimed at reducing a reliance on coal.

Until 2004 there was virtually no gas-fired power generation in China, but that has changed thanks to several long distance pipelines coming online in recent years and the development of a number of new pipelines and liquefied natural gas import terminals. GlobalData says that this means “the country’s gas turbine sector looks set to exhibit significant expansion in the foreseeable future”.

Worldwide, the company anticipates gas turbine revenue to fall slightly in the coming years. Average annual global market revenue stood at $12.4bn during 2006–2012 and is forecast to hit $11.8 bn for the period 2013-2020.