Generation, Renewable Energy, T&D, Transmission, Wind

Subsea transmission cables market set to expand

The worldwide market for high-voltage submarine electricity cables will grow from $1.9 billion in 2014 to more than $5.3 billion in 2023, according to a recent report from Navigant Research.

The expansion of offshore renewable power generation, particularly large wind power installations, is helping to drive demand for transmission via high-voltage submarine electricity cables.

While this is a small and highly specialized industry, it has shown consistent growth over in recent years, even in the face of a global recession, and is expected to continue to do so over the next several years, as well.

“Countries and regions are making commitments to install offshore renewable power generation, link remote landmasses, and interconnect their national grids,” says Bob Lockhart, research director with Navigant Research. “And as cable technology advances, more projects are being proposed that require longer, deeper, and higher-capacity cables.”

Indeed, one impediment to this sector’s growth has been the constricted supply chain for these highly specialized and expensive products. Only a handful of manufacturers were capable of delivering cables at the capacity and lengths required, and they were inundated with project orders.

Recently that has changed, according to the report, as new market entrants from other sectors and other regions of the world have begun stepping in to absorb the excess demand, and established manufacturers have spent significant capital upgrading existing plants and opening new facilities to better address the strong demand.