ESG Initiatives Hindering Growth in Distributed Control Systems Investments from Utilities

The most important market trend in the electric power generation industry is the move to reduce the reliance on coal-fired generating capacity worldwide, due to higher carbon emissions. In general, aging coal plants are now more likely to be retired rather than updated and retrofitted with new features. This has been the case in Europe for some time, but today, new generating capacity planned in North America is predominantly wind and solar PV. The Chinese market, an important segment of the global market, is also ramping up the deployment of renewable generation. The implication of this for fossil-fired generating plants is that they will obtain a reduced share of future electric generation and thus will operate at lower capacity factors in the future. This will raise their overall plant cost metrics, such as “levelized cost of electricity” (LCOE). That in turn will make new investments in these types of plants more challenging to justify economically, even though fossil-fueled generation will remain vital to overall electric systems.

"The growing emphasis toward lowering carbon emissions has resulted in smaller unit sizes (by a factor of roughly 100) that do not require full scale Distributed Control Systems (DCS). Industrial PCs and/or PLCs are often sufficient. There are benefits in larger scale automation for such installations, but most have been developed by non-utility firms and these developers have usually not concerned themselves with long-term operational issues.," according to Harry Forbes, Director of Research and key author of ARC's Distributed Control Systems for Power Generation Market Research.

Distributed Control Systems for Power Generation Market Trends

In addition to providing detailed competitive market share data, the research also addresses key market trends as follows:

  • Beyond Main Automation Contractor 
  • Cloud Computing
  • Compute is Moving to the Edge 
  • Configurable/Characterizable I/O 
  • Cybersecurity
  • Modular Automation
  • Operational Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT) Convergence 
  • Remote Operations Management
  • Software Convergence
  • Software-Defined Process Automation 
  • Virtualization

Leading Suppliers to the Distributed Control Systems for Power Generation Market Identified

In addition to providing specific market data and industry trends, this ARC market research also identifies and positions the leading suppliers to this market and provides and summarizes their relevant offerings. An alphabetical list of key suppliers covered in this analysis includes: ABB, Emerson Automation Solutions, HollySys, Schneider Electric, Siemens Energy.

About the Distributed Control Systems for Power Generation Research

The Distributed Control Systems for Power Generation research explores the current and future market performance and related technology and business trends and identifies leading technology suppliers. This new research is based on ARC’s industry-leading market research database, extensive primary and secondary research, and proprietary economic modelling techniques. The research includes competitive analysis, plus five- year market forecasts. The report segmentation includes Revenue Category, Sales Channel, World Region, Customer Type, Service Revenues by Type, Hardware Revenues by Type, World Region Total, System Size, Application, Project Type.

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