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ANALYSIS | INDUSTRY SECTORS


CONSTRUCTING OPPORTUNITIES


For the past ten years, project logisticians and specialised transportation providers have been awarded work in a multitude of industrial sectors, ranging from power generation to civil engineering. HLPFI looks back on the development of some of those industries, alongside regional trends and capital project highlights from the past decade.


BY DAVID KERSHAW Power generation


It is cliché to suggest that the power generation sector is on the brink of transformation. At present, renewable energy development and storage costs are plummeting. With the introduction of carbon regulations and the proliferation of distributed energy systems, the power generation sector is already in the midst of a revolution. Coal-fired power generation continues to dominate the


mix, providing roughly 40 percent of the globe’s electricity. However, coal-fired power generation in developed nations, in particular the USA, is on a steep downward trajectory. Coal-fired capacity is likely to lead the power generation


mix through until 2050, with demand still strong in developing nations. However, indicators suggest that coal is at a tipping point and will slowly see its share of the mix eroded through until 2050. In the short-term, coal’s loss has been to the advantage of


gas. As older coal-fired plants retire, the need for fast, reliable capacity has been filled by gas-fired power generation. From the standpoint of the project logistics sector, the most significant development has surely been the proliferation of renewable energy, most notably the overwhelming rise of wind power.


China and the USA have experienced rapid growth


onshore while Europe has led the market in terms of offshore development. Technological innovations have continued apace, with


turbines increasing in size and capacity, bringing with them greater challenges in terms of transportation and installation. Today, utility-scale wind and solar generation are increasingly cost-competitive, compared with traditional power generation methods.


62 | HLPFI10 EUROPEAN WIND


The development and maturity of the European wind energy industry has been a key driver of project logistics activity in the past ten years. In January 2007, the European Commission published its new energy strategy, known as the ‘energy package’, which proposed a binding 20 percent target for the share of renewables in the EU by 2020. According to the European Wind Energy Association,


57.136 GW of wind energy capacity was installed on the continent at the end of 2007. 160 GW of new capacity was installed by the end of 2016,


according to WindEurope. By 2030, 253 GW onshore and 70 GW offshore is expected to be online.


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