Rise in smart grid investments to drive grid automation market


Global energy market research firm Technavio predicts the global automation solutions market for the power industry will grow by 9% between 2016 and 2020.

Bharath Kanniappan, a lead analyst at Technavio for research on grid automation, commented: “The coal-fired plants may be replaced by natural-gas power plants equipped with critical safety units and innovative automation technologies. This represents significant greenfield opportunities for the global automation solutions market in the power industry.”

For instance, the US is planning to install 41 coal-fired power plants and construct new smart energy systems which require to be operated remotely. India also announced its plans to close 37GW of fossil-powered generation systems to pave way for smart grids and reduce the country’s carbon emissions.

Investments in grid automation

Technavio predicts that the rise in investments in smart power grids will drive the global automation solutions market for the power industry during the forecasted period.

With global utilities witnessing the benefits of smart grid solutions in managing their grid networks, China, US, India, Brazil and France are expected to increase their investments in smart grid solutions.

Investments in smart grid solutions will include funding installation and operation of technologies like SCADA and smart metering systems which help utilities manage and control their grid assets.

Through the use of such technologies, Jamaica resulted in an average of 30% decrease in outages in 2015 compared with 2014.

Global utilities will also increase their investments in grid automation technologies to optimise their revenue collection through the curbing of non-revenue electricity. [Fortis joins utility coalition to promote investment in smart grid].

Transmission and distribution losses

Technavio states that power companies will expand the market by increasingly investing in their efforts to reduce transmission and distribution losses within their power networks.

The research firm predicts that almost 10% of the power generated at the generation stage is lost via power leakages, open circuits, overloading of distribution lines, power theft and inaccurate billing.

Regulatory measures for utilities to adapt to automatic grids in a bid to reduce emission of greenhouse gases will largely contribute to the growth of the global automation solutions market in the power industry.

Smart grid solutions will help utilities understand how much carbon is emitted by their plants during the power generation stage.

Image credit: www.newscenter.ti.com.