Analysis of COVID-19 Crisis-driven Growth Opportunities in Power Plant Decommissioning Market

The cooling towers of power plants. Large cooling towers of the nuclear power plant.

Power Plant Decommissioning: Introduction

  • Power plant decommissioning is the process of removing wind turbines and returning the land to its original condition. During the time of decommissioning, contractual companies are required to remove the wind turbine from the surface of the land entirely.
  • Once a wind turbine reaches the end of its lifecycle, consideration is given by the owner to either decommission or repower the facility. Power generation from the power plant ceases after it is decommissioned. Subsequently, the site is dismantled.

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  • It usually becomes difficult to find replacement of power plant components after they reach the end of their useful life (life for which it produces desired amount of power). Furthermore, components may begin to degrade or fail at a rate that becomes too expensive to maintain. It can be considered as the end of the business case or the end of a power purchase agreement, and the owner closes the project by decommissioning the power plant.
  • In decommissioning of power plants, the complete decommissioning and demolition of a coal or oil fired power station includes numerous stages, from deconstruction studies and asset valuation to site remediation while evaluating redevelopment options

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Key Drivers of Global Power Plant Decommissioning Market

  • Large numbers of nuclear power plants around the world are nearing the end of their operational timeline. Therefore, operators and governments are planning to decommission the existing nuclear facilities. This is driving the power plant decommissioning market.
  • Ambitious national targets, rapid technological advancements, and international agreements have prompted countries across the world to turn toward sustainable use of energy. Companies are upgrading their power infrastructure. This, in turn, is expected to augment the global power plant decommissioning market between 2024 and 2030.


Restraints of Global Power Plant Decommissioning Market

  • Environmental issues can be highly costly aspects of decommissioning for different types of power plants. For instance, a wide range of power plant companies with hazardous wastes, including asbestos, mineral fibers, and mineral oil hydrocarbons, require special treatment and disposal. This is anticipated to hamper the power plant decommissioning market.
  • Materials that cannot be recycled are simply dumped into landfills. This increases the amount of solid waste generation, thus adding to the global waste. This, in turn, poses challenges to the global power plant decommissioning market.

Major Developments

  • In August 2024, Burns & McDonnell announced that it had completed the demolition phase of a five-year project to convert R.D. Morrow, Sr. Generating Station (Plant Morrow), from coal to a natural gas-fired combined cycle plant. The company also declared that the plant will be fully operational in early 2024. The combined-cycle plant is equipped with advanced-class combustion turbine technology and reuses an existing steam turbine. It would be able to generate 550 MW of energy, becoming the most efficient coal-to-gas heat recovery repower project in North America.

Europe to Hold Major Share of Global Power Plant Decommissioning Market

  • Based on region, the global power plant decommissioning market can be classified into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
  • Europe is expected to be a key region of the global power plant decommissioning market from 2024 to 2030. High investments in upgrade of power generation and government subsidies are likely to drive the market in the region between 2024 and 2030.
  • The power plant decommissioning market in Middle East & Africa is estimated to expand at a significant pace during the forecast period, owing to the presence of extensive agricultural land and attempts to reduce the use of fossil fuel energy. Government initiatives for pollution-free and clean energy are also expected to drive the power plant decommissioning market in the region during the forecast period.
  • On the other hand, the size of the U.S. power plant decommissioning market is projected to double by the end of the forecast period. Renewable energy projects in the U.S. are likely to benefit from multi-year federal tax incentives and several, state-level, favorable policies for power generation in the next few years.

COVID-19 Impact Analysis

  • The global economy has been hampered by the measures put in place to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The wind industry is estimated to face immediate challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic such as difficulty in adhering to the social distancing norms, shortage of manpower, lack of parts & equipment, and discerning expenditure by end-users.

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Key Players Operating in Global Market

Major players operating in the global power plant decommissioning market are:

  • Burns & McDonnell
  • Fluor Corporation
  • NorthStar Group Services Inc.
  • Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation.
  • Studsvik AB
  • Areva S.A.
  • WS Atkins PLC
  • Bechtel Corporation