The global steam turbine market is forecast to grow from $14bn this year to $19bn by 2020, according to new analysis.

Research from consulting firm GlobalData finds that the steam turbine market has been boosted by the increasing demand for electricity, driven by global population and economic development.

In a report on the sector, GlobalData states that steam turbines will see steady growth despite the rise of renewables, because thermal power is still often seen as a cheaper and more reliable alternative.steam turbine

Sayani Roy Nath, GlobalData’s power analyst, said: “Although the focus on renewables is increasing, it has so far been difficult to achieve a major shift towards alternative sources, because they are either uneconomical or incapable of generating sufficient power to meet demand.

“Global coal reserves are much larger than oil and gas reserves, reaching almost 861 billion tonnes in 2012. Therefore, thermal power is still the dominant source of energy, and with clean coal technology gaining ground, the steam turbine market is set for steady growth in the future.”

GlobalData states that China has become the major geographical player in the market, with Harbin Electric Machinery Company leading the global steam turbine sector in the last few years.

In 2012, Harbin accounted for a share of 20 per cent in the 120-350 MW segment and a 31 per cent share in the 350-660 MW stakes. Other key Chinese players are Shanghai Electric Group and Dongfang Electric Corp.