The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) market for electricity transmission & distribution is among the most rapidly growing control systems markets in the world. Markets in mature and developed regions, including Western Europe and North America, are set to continue expanding over the next few years due to the increasing demand to modernize electric power infrastructures. The current SCADA T&D market sits at just under $2.4 billion, and it is expected to grow to $3.8 billion over the life of this study on a CAGR of 8.9 percent.
The substantial increase in SCADA activity is due to a confluence of worldwide new technology and infrastructure spending driven by sovereign investment programs. These sovereign investment programs are focused on the expansion of capacity in emerging markets, upgrading of aging transmission and distribution infrastructure, and improvement of reliability and efficiency. T&D losses between 6% and 8% are considered normal. However, in parts of Asia, like China and India, the inefficiencies and governance issues in the public sector distribution companies have resulted in huge T&D losses ranging from 25% to 35%. SCADA is not the silver bullet to solve the T&D losses, but it can be very instrumental in identifying where the problems are.
“The SCADA T&D market is poised to grow with a solid compound annual growth. It is being driven by the world’s continued demand for more energy while the utilities are faced with the challenges of rising fuel costs and the burden of increasingly stringent environmental regulations affecting their operations and costs. These challenges drive the need to conserve energy, specifically the energy lost in transmission & distribution, defer the building of additional generation facilities, and improve customer service,” according to Steve Clouther, the author of ARC Advisory Group’s new study “SCADA Systems for the Electric Power Industry Worldwide Outlook”.
The market leaders for worldwide SCADA systems are subsidiaries and/or divisions of large international control companies with an expansive global presence. Collectively, the top seven vendors account for almost 70 percent of the 2011 worldwide SCADA market for the electric power industry. Interestingly, all of the leading international SCADA/control companies, except two, are European, with Fuji and GE being the exceptions.
China to Be a Driving Force in SCADA Implementations
China, where there is a focus on the electricity demands and infrastructure, will lead the way in SCADA technologies and implementation by the year 2020. China is in the midst of a large-scale, nationwide grid extension and modernization project. The focus of this effort has evolved along with the urbanization of China. What began as an effort to supply electricity to the majority of the country’s population has gradually shifted focus toward grid modernization and efficiency.
In 2008, the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) announced plans to more than double its investments over the next two years to over 1.16 trillion yuan ($169 billion) in nationwide grid construction. In 2009, China Southern Power Grid (CSG) announced plans to invest 71 billion yuan ($10.4 billion), of which 62.2 billion yuan would be allocated toward urban grid reconstruction and grid infrastructure upgrades in rural areas. These are just two of many such commitments to the nationwide grid.
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