Emission reduction targets boost global spending on maintenance in the renewable and low-carbon sectors, slowly pulling the rug out of the oil and gas industry.
In a recent report, energy research firm Rystad Energy predicts that the maintenance, modification and operation (MTO) market for the renewable and low-carbon sector will reach nearly $250 billion by 2030, providing significant opportunities for operators to reap the benefits of the energy transition.
The Maintenance, Modification and Operation (MMO) segment includes many activities and operations, including inspection of facilities and equipment, surface treatment, pipeline maintenance, and transportation and logistics.
According to the report, total annual spending on the maintenance and operation sector, including oil and gas, is expected to rise above $600 billion by the end of the decade, compared to $367 billion in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic, according to the report, seen by the Energy Research Unit.
Spending on maintenance and operation services
The share of renewables and low-carbon energy is likely to rise nearly 4 times, from $63 billion in 2019 to $244 billion by the end of the decade.
Enhancing the role of renewable energy would reduce fossil fuel spending on maintenance and operating services to 60% by 2030, compared to 82% in 2019.
Rystad Energy estimates that the maintenance, modification and operating expenses of the oil and gas industry will rise from $303 billion in 2019 to $364 billion by the end of the decade.
On the regional level, China is expected to lead Asia to be the main driver of global maintenance spending growth, at about $125 billion in 2030, compared to $35 billion last year, constituting more than half of the global market value.
Spending on maintenance and operations in North America and Europe is expected to reach $37 and $53 billion, respectively, by 2030, according to the report.
Spending on renewable energy maintenance
Rystad Energy sees higher maintenance spending in the non-fossil fuel sector by 2030, driven by growth in solar, wind, geothermal and carbon capture and storage.
The value of the maintenance market in the solar energy industry is expected to rise by $64 billion in 2030, compared to $12 billion last year, according to the report.
The wind energy sector is set to spend $143 billion on maintenance by the end of the decade, up from $39 billion in 2021.
Moreover, the maintenance market in CCS and geothermal technologies could rise to $7 and $1.6 billion, respectively, by the end of the decade.
Adapting to the energy transition
In adapting to the energy transition, there are many similarities between maintenance of the fossil fuel and renewable energy sectors, and suppliers of the maintenance and operation sector can benefit greatly from this trend.
For example, drones (or drones) are used in offshore oil and gas field inspections, which can easily be used for offshore wind installations.
Companies that maintain oil and gas pipelines can also leverage these capabilities for process equipment within the renewable and low-carbon energy sectors, according to the report, seen by the Energy Research Unit.
However, the maintenance and operation sector’s exposure to renewable energy has so far been limited, with oil and gas dominating the market, but boosting investments in clean energy sectors and moving forward with the transformation process, may reverse this trend in the coming years.