Stringent European Union (EU) legislation and an increased level of environmental awareness are creating excellent growth opportunities for the air pollution control equipment market in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Additionally, with the emergence of advanced clean coal technologies, coal-fired generation looks set to retain its place as the region’s main fuel choice and provide a continuing boost to air pollution control equipment revenues.
“Legislation is undoubtedly the most important driver of growth for sales of air pollution control technologies,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Jonathan Robinson. “The Large Combustion Plant Directive is the most significant among a spate of recent legislation.”
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (power.frost.com), Central and Eastern European Air Pollution Control Equipment in Power Plants Markets, finds that these markets earned revenues of €407 million in 2006 and estimates this to reach €785 million in 2013.
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Environmental technologies do not improve performance and, therefore, constitute a capital cost that yields no economic benefit. As such, there is no incentive for power plants/utilities to install such technologies unless compelled to by a national or, as in the case of Europe, supranational governing authority such as the EU. The Large Combustion Plant Directive obligates plants to either implement the necessary technology before the 2008 deadline or face the ultimate sanction - permanent closure.
The CEE region has a large number of coal-fired plants and many states are committed to retaining coal as a key part of the fuel mix in the future. High gas prices have made it economically expedient to invest in overhaul programmes and the result is an improvement in plant efficiencies across the region.
However, among the major fuel sources, coal is by far the most polluting in terms of emissions, releasing high levels of dust, carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. The emergence of technologies such as fabric filters, electrostatic precipitators, flue gas desulphurisation and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) are all likely to help reduce these emissions significantly.
On the other hand, gas does not emit sulphur dioxide or dust and produces much lower levels of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide. This means that only SCR is applicable for gas and, even then, is only one of several options. Serious environmental concerns notwithstanding, nuclear fuel remains untouched by emissions-related issues; it is almost carbon neutral and discharges no sulphur or nitrogen.
Future revenues of the air pollution control equipment market for power plants in the CEE region are, therefore, largely dependent on coal remaining the fuel of choice. If large-scale gas or nuclear construction takes place, then it severely restricts the market for environmental technologies, as neither of these fuels gives off the range and level of emissions as that of coal.
“The continuing expansion of nuclear power in the CEE region spells bad news for air pollution control equipment manufacturers,” observes Mr. Robinson. “Coal does have its merits and the emissions that it gives off can be dealt with using technology; manufacturers need to ensure that decision makers and the wider population are aware of this and must also support the case for coal-fired generation as much as possible.”
Central and Eastern European Air Pollution Control Equipment in Power Plants Markets is part of the Energy and Power Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the following: The Western European Air Pollution Control Equipment in Power Plants Market, the Middle East and African Gen-set Market, the European Stationary Fuel Cells Market, the Power Plant Rehabilitation and Refurbishment Markets in Central and Eastern Europe, and the South African Water and Wastewater Treatment Equipment Market. All research included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.
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