China to drive growth in substation automation systems

A new report predicts that the global market for substation automation systems for transmission substations will be worth $3.2bn by 2020, with China alone accounting for around $850m.

The study found that the value of the market was $2.1bn in 2014, but it expects this to substantially rise over the next five years.

The research from consulting firm GlobalData states that two key factors driving substation automation systems market growth: the global rise in electricity demand and increased emphasis on clean energy, both of which are leading to new-generation projects and the refurbishment of outdated transmission systems.

GlobalData’s senior power analyst Sowmyavadhana Srinivasan said: “A number of countries are concentrating on the delivery of high-quality reliable power by developing smart grid technologies, which enable the use of two-way technology to mitigate the gap between demand and supply.

“This requires investment in intelligent and automated substations to increase grid reliability and operational efficiency, as well as reducing power outages.”

Srinivasan added that several factors could restrain substation automation systems (SAS) growth in the short to long term, including cybersecurity fears, the lack of a skilled workforce and an unawareness among utilities of how to extract the full value of the technology.

GlobalData states that China will remain one of the leading SAS countries, with its market valued at approximately $426m in 2014, a figure which is expected to more than double over the forecast period.

Srinivasan says: “In China, emphasis has traditionally been placed on investment in new power plant capacity additions, whereas investment in developing and refurbishing the existing power grid has been limited.

“However, China’s State Grid Corporation has planned a total investment of $250 billion for the country’s power infrastructure between 2011 and 2016, of which $45 billion will go towards the development of smart grid technology. China’s three-stage plan will promote an additional $240 billion investment from 2016 to 2020, making government spending a key market driver.”

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