Steady growth ahead for substation automation: Is your utility taking advantage?

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By: SGN Staff

Quick Take: A new report from Pike Research confirms that substation automation can expect sure, steady growth between now and 2020. Building new transmission substations will peak in 2014, then gradually decline. But retrofits to existing transmission substations and to smaller distribution substations will more than take up the slack.

 

We wonder if some utilities are missing this trend. Sensing hardware is seeing a rapid price drop that makes it economically feasible to instrument substations that were previously too small to justify the expense. If you are not taking a hard look at your substation roadmap, now's the time to rethink your long-term strategy. - By Jesse Berst

 

Substation automation equipment has been a "significant and mature market" for at least the last 10 years, says a new report from Pike Research. But the clean tech firm says the integration of substation automation functions into smart grid operations is bringing about changes in the sector: more focus on recently automated smaller distribution substations and on retrofit upgrades of previously automated transmission substations.

 

The result, Pike forecasts, is that the global substation automation market will grow from $2.7 billion this year to $4.3 billion by 2020. The substation automation equipment generally includes communications, protective relays, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and related sensors.

 

"Even as individual equipment costs and per-substation spending are declining due to technology advances and a shift to retrofits, we expect that the overall market will continue to grow,” says chief research director Bob Gohn. “The smart grid trends driving automation deeper into the distribution network, combined with continued growth in Asia, will sustain steady growth in the overall substation automation sector."

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Jesse Berst is the founder and chief analyst of Smart Grid News.com, the industry's oldest and largest smart grid site. A frequent keynoter at industry events in the U.S. and abroad, he also serves on advisory committees for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Institute for Electric Efficiency. He often provides strategic consulting to large corporations and venture-backed startups. He is a member of the advisory boards of GridGlo and Calico Energy Services.

Driven by Smart Grid Integration, the Electric Utility Substation Automation Market Will Reach $4.3 Billion by 2020, Pike Research Forecasts

BOULDER, Colo.--()--Substation automation equipment, including communications, protective relays, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) devices, and related sensors, has been a significant and mature market for at least a decade. Today, the integration of substation automation functions into the broader smart grid architecture is gradually shifting the nature of the substation automation opportunity toward newly automated smaller distribution substations, and into retrofit modernizations of previously automated transmission substations. According to a new report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, this trend will drive steady growth in the global market for substation automation, which will grow from $2.7 billion in 2012 to $4.3 billion in 2020.

“Even as individual equipment costs and per-substation spending are declining due to technology advances and a shift to retrofits, we expect that the overall market will continue to grow,” says chief research director Bob Gohn. “The smart grid trends driving automation deeper into the distribution network, combined with continued growth in Asia, will sustain steady growth in the overall substation automation sector.”

Today, new transmission substations make up the largest segment of global substation automation revenue. According to the new report, this segment is expected to peak in 2013 and 2014 and to slowly decline through 2020, yielding an effective compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of zero percent for the period from 2011 to 2020. Retrofits of existing transmission substations, and automation of distribution substatio

The report, “Substation Automation”, reviews the history, drivers, key technologies, evolving standards, and leading vendors associated with substation automation technologies. The size and growth of the global substation automation equipment market is forecast through 2020 and segmented by automation device categories (SCADA, protective relays, sensors, communications), by transmission and distribution substations, by new versus retrofit installations, and by major world regions. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Pike Research website.

About Pike Research

Pike Research, which joined Navigant’s global Energy Practice on July 1, 2012, provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The team’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors. Additional information about Pike Research can be found at www.navigant.com/pikeresearch.