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How is generator sets industry evolving to meet the global power demand?

Global generator sets market size is expanding with high reliability on portable power across various sectors. From home appliances to industrial systems, businesses and homes just cannot run without a continuous, reliable, and steady source of power. The ever-growing demand for safe and uninterrupted power supply in residential establishments, commercial spaces, and industrial settings is powering the global generator sets industry. Environmental and regulatory authorities such as the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), International Energy Agency (IEA), and the European Union (EU) are constantly implementing measures to integrate a standby source to ensure nonstop supply of energy.


Generator sets, or gensets, will certainly be in demand over the course of the next few years. But what exactly are generator sets? What are the various types and applications of gensets? The answers to these questions along with the future of global generator sets market are discussed below.



What is the overall market size of the generator industry?

Globally, generator sets market size, according to Global Market Insights, Inc., was valued at USD 31 billion in 2020 and it is estimated to hit USD 64 billion in annual revenue by 2030. Cummins, Generac Power Systems, Siemens AG, Kohler Co., Caterpillar, Trane Technologies, Atlas Copco, Honda Motors, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and Yamaha Motors are some of the notable manufacturers of gensets worldwide.  


What are the major purposes of generators?

Generator sets are used to keep critical systems running at homes, businesses, industrial sites, medical facilities, and other areas in case of power or grid failure. These systems add an extra layer security in the event of blackouts or brownouts. In remote, off-grid regions, gensets can serve as a self-contained power supply. Other key areas of application include construction sites, mines deep underground, campsites, and others. Gensets can either serve as the primary source of electricity or as a secondary source, perhaps during peak hours of usage.


Some of the most common and critical purposes of generators include:

Ensuring continuous power for critical environments such as hospitals, medical facilities, and laboratories
Providing essential power for remote and off-grid construction sites
Delivering uninterrupted power for marine applications
Supplying extra power during times of excessive demand
Supplying electricity in places without an electric grid
Serving as a supplementary power source for data centers and internet hosting providers
Providing essential power in disaster hit areas after storms


Manufacturers are constantly innovating, and generator technologies are rapidly evolving. As a result, improved, more advanced systems are regularly entering the generator sets market. Some of the most recent product innovations are listed below:

Generac Power Systems had rolled out a completely redesigned line of its Powermate portable generators in March 2021 on online channels as well as select retail outlets across the U.S.
In July 2021, Caterpillar Inc. had upgraded its Cat CG170B range of natural gas generator sets with two new models.
Atlas Copco had expanded its generator line-up with an upgraded version of the QAS 150 and the addition of QAS 200 in October last year.


What are the three main types of generators?

Generators are broadly classified into portable, inverter, and standby generators. The various features, advantages, and applications of each of these types are highlighted below.


Portable Generators

Portable generators are utilized to provide temporary, easily transportable electric power. They are most commonly found in daily operation across a wide range of work and leisure sites. Here are some key characteristics defining these types of generators:

Can be used in remote locations
Use a combustion engine to transmit electricity
Can power household appliances such as TV, refrigerators, and others
Capable of powering tools and lights


Portable generators are among the most popular types of generators and will experience strong demand in the generator sets industry. Manufacturers need to stay up to date with the latest regulatory standards while designing their products.


In February 2021, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Portable Generator Manufacturers’ Association (PGMA) had updated the ANSI/PGMA G300-2018 Safety and Performance of Portable Generators Standard (G300). The renewed guideline now requires portable generators to include carbon monoxide (CO) shutoff technology. Extensive testing in indoor outdoor, and real-world scenarios has shown that the technology could prevent more than 99% of deaths from CO exposure. 


Inverter Generators

An inverter generator operates by electronically throttling the engine up and down to meet the power demand instead of running all the time. This results in improved efficiency, lower emissions, and quieter operation. The various performance and environmental benefits mean that inverter generators could capture a substantial share of the generator sets industry.


A few salient features of inverter gensets include:

Maintain constant current flow to an appliance
Powered by hi-tech magnets
Rely on advanced electronic circuitry
More power efficient as engine speed regulates itself based on the power requirement
Lightweight and compact in size
Can fit into a car, recreational vehicle, or boat


Numerous technologically advanced inverter generators designed for diverse applications are available in the generator sets market today. For example, Chinese manufacturer Growatt had introduced a new 1,000 V inverter generator at the SNEC PV Power Expo held in Shanghai in June 2021. The generator is designed for commercial and utility-scale solar power plants.


Standby Generators

Standby generators are generally stationary and need a concrete pad as a foundation usually located outside the facility. These generators are a robust solution that can supply electric power for several days during extended blackouts. Their demand in the generator sets market is likely to grow substantially in the coming years. Mentioned below are some key features of standby generators


Here are some characteristics to note about these types of generators:

Automatic operation
Deliver permanent power protection
Can run on natural gas of liquid propane
Constantly monitor utility power
Used in safety systems for medical systems, fire protection systems, and elevators


The industry is constantly witnessing the launch of technologically advanced standby generator technologies. In August 2020, for instance, Generac Power Systems had upgraded its Guardian line of household standby generators with the launch of a new more powerful model.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, the power sector was hit significantly, as commercial and industrial demand for electricity plunged due to inactivity. Global restrictions on people movement played a significant role in slowing down energy demand. Schools and shops were also under lockdown, severely cutting the need for portable or standby power across many economies. The IEA reported that during lockdown periods, power usage reduced by around 15% across countries like the U.S., France, Spain, Italy, India, the U.K. and others. These factors could affect the generator sets industry forecast to some extent, but overall market is expected to recover well in the next few years.


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