With power interruptions resulting in huge economic losses of up to $150 billion annually, distribution automation presents a viable solution to ensure effective asset management, minimal interruption and enhanced efficiency in the grid network. As a result, distribution automation is quickly becoming a requirement for utilities. Power demand and grid complexity will continue growing, and utilities across the globe are turning to advanced automated solutions to protect assets, enhance reliability and minimize operations and maintenance costs.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, “Analysis of the Global Distribution Automation Market,” finds that the market earned revenues of $7.32 billion in 2014 and estimates this to reach $10.33 billion in 2018.
“Emerging countries hold significant potential for distribution automation vendors,” said Rajalingam Chinnasamy, an energy and environmental industry analyst with Frost & Sullivan. “In India, transmission and distribution loss is estimated at over 20 percent of produced power, while in Latin America, power distribution loss is estimated at over 16 percent. Hence, governments are urging utilities to adopt automation solutions and boost grid efficiency.”
The high initial costs of automation solutions, however, restrain uptake. Integration of different types of vendors, including information technology providers, communication network suppliers and hardware suppliers, is also crucial to create products that prepare automation companies to meet future demand.
“Distribution automation is in the early stages of its life cycle, and investments in complementary technologies enabling two-way communication, better asset management and improved efficiency will help capitalize on the full potential of the technology,” Chinnasamy said. “The combination of technologies will yield significant benefits for all stakeholders.”
Lack of integrated demonstration projects and universal standards are dissuading utilities from investing in distribution automation, so demonstrating the superior operational benefits of these solutions is vital for market growth.