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The global transmission and distribution (T&D) equipment market is expected to reach $301 billion in 2020, increasing from $127 billion in 2012 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.3%, finds a recent report from GBI Research.

The report says the main drivers of the global T&D equipment market include the emergence of the Asia-Pacific region, especially India and China, the ongoing global focus on renewable energy, and opportunities in the maintenance and upgrade of existing infrastructure in the developed world.

GBI Research says it expects substantial global investment in T&D infrastructure over the coming years, as regional economies recognize the need to stabilize electricity supply in order to support economic growth. Current power generation machinery and cables are old and have limited capacity for power transmission and distribution; therefore, the report concludes, there is a need to upgrade the old infrastructure.

The growing population and economic development in regions across the globe, especially in Asia-Pacific, have led to increased demand for electricity, the report continues. Developed nations such as the U.S. and Germany have realized that they need to ensure a sufficient supply of electricity to their industries in order to compete with the business from emerging nations such as China and India. This has prompted developed nations to introduce legislation to support continuous investment in power infrastructure so that power disruptions such as blackouts and brownouts can be prevented.

However, the report notes, investments in T&D infrastructure will be different across global regions, as the priorities of the regional economies differ from one another. The Asia-Pacific region will invest in the development of T&D technologies to connect a greater part of their population to a supply of power, as well as in technologies to reduce T&D losses. In comparison, developed nations in North America and Europe will invest in technologies to upgrade their existing power infrastructure and in technologies to improve power distribution services at the consumer end. The developing nations have mandates for greater electrification, especially rural electrification. This, the report says, will drive T&D investments in emerging economies such as Brazil, India, China and the Philippines.

Additionally, various countries have set targets to increase the amount of electricity produced through renewable energy sources. European Union targets state that 20% of energy should be supplied from alternative energy sources by 2020. In the U.S., under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was passed in February 2009 by the federal government, $30 billion will be used for the promotion of renewable and alternative energy, thereby increasing energy efficiency, the report says. The proliferation of a number of renewable energy projects, which are generally in remote locations, will spur the development of new transmission infrastructure.

Smart grids, meanwhile, will serve to help reduce distribution losses by up to 30% by using real-time information flow on distribution circuits and substations, the report adds. Smart grids optimize the function of power grid assets and facilitate efficient operation. Operational efficiency and optimized asset performance contribute to the improvement in quality of power transmission and distribution. Many countries across the world, such as the U.S., the U.K., China and India, are implementing smart grid technologies to improve the efficiency of their T&D networks by reducing losses.


For more information about this GBI Research report, click here.

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