World Markets Fuel SCADA/EMS Growth

World Markets Fuel SCADA/EMS Growth

By Teresa Hansen, Senior Editor

SCADA systems and EMS have definitely found a place in the North American utility industry. Most large investor-owned utilities, as well as many smaller cooperative and municipal utilities, have already installed SCADA/EMS operations. PennWell Research`s latest SCADA/EMS buying studies reflect this market saturation. PennWell`s studies show that U.S. SCADA/EMS projects have been on the decline since 1990, accounting for only 8 percent of worldwide SCADA/EMS spending. However, the SCADA/EMS market is not dead. Activity outside North America is showing significant growth. Privatization and deregulation in markets around the world are fueling the need for automation to make power companies more competitive.

Mature North American Market

U.S. electric market studies, especially for SCADA projects, have been PennWell Research`s mainstay. According to the research company`s findings, the U.S. SCADA/EMS market is mature. As Figure 1 illustrates, electric utility system projects peaked in 1990 with more than $72.3 million being budgeted for SCADA/EMS. The total value of planned electric projects decreased more than 50 percent between 1991 and 1996.

Even though the total value has declined, during 1995 and 1996, PennWell Research documented a rise in SCADA/EMS projects at small- and medium-sized electric utilities. Figure 2 shows that municipalities are planning more projects than any other utility type while investor-owned utilities and Canadian utilities are planning the fewest projects. Despite Canadian utilities` small number, Figure 2 also indicates that Canadian projects have the highest value.

Even though PennWell Research`s studies confirm that the North American market is declining, this market still offers opportunities. Smaller utilities plan to invest a substantial amount on SCADA/EMS in the near future.

Markets Outside North America

In contrast to North America where the SCADA/EMS market is declining, European, Asian and Latin American project values are increasing. The most recent PennWell research study done for the European market (1996) showed planned projects worth $402 million. As illustrated by Figure 3, Western Europe dominated the 1996 European electric study. Germany was the leading country with 63 projects worth $114 million, followed by France with $35 million. However, Romania showed up with one project worth an estimated $35 million, placing it high on the list.

The total for Asian SCADA/EMS projects was nearly $1 billion, according to PennWell Research`s 1995 study, up from $402 million in the previous study. A total of 271 utilities from 28 countries were contacted over the course of the study. As Figure 4 illustrates, the largest number of projects were planned in Australia. India, however, led the region in project value with 17 studies valued at $596 million, followed by Thailand at $66 million and South Korea at $60 million.

PennWell Research`s most recent Central/South American study, also conducted in 1995, showed nearly $300 million worth of projects. During this study, 220 utilities from 35 countries were contacted, including 10 countries that were not contacted during the previous (1993) study. Figure 5 shows planned projects by numbers and by value. Leading the Central/South American countries in project value were Brazil at $61 million, Mexico at $50 million and Argentina at $42 million.

While U.S. activity has declined in this decade, research indicates that Asia and Latin America are experiencing strong SCADA/EMS growth, resulting from rapidly growing economies. These global markets, as well as smaller U.S. utility markets confirm that SCADA/EMS is not dead. For more information about PennWell Research`s SCADA/EMS studies, call (918) 831-9590 or fax (918) 831-9599.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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