Substation automation systems market growing to $3.2 billion by 2020

The global market for Substation Automation Systems (SAS) for transmission substations will expand in value from an estimated $2.1 billion in 2014 to about $3.2 billion by 2020, according to GlobalData.

The two key factors driving SAS market growth are the global rise in electricity demand and increased emphasis on clean energy, which are leading to new-generation projects and the refurbishment of outdated transmission systems.

Sowmyavadhana Srinivasan, GlobalData’s Senior Analyst covering Power, says: “A number of countries are concentrating on the delivery of high-quality reliable power by developing smart grid technologies, which enable the use of two-way technology to mitigate the gap between demand and supply.

“This requires investment in intelligent and automated substations to increase grid reliability and operational efficiency, as well as reducing power outages.”

The analyst adds that several factors could restrain SAS market growth in the short to long term, including cybersecurity concerns, the absence of proper technical standards, the lack of a skilled workforce, and a lack of awareness among utilities of how to extract the full value of SAS.

GlobalData’s report notes that China will remain one of the leading SAS countries, with its market valued at about $426 million in 2014, a figure which is expected to more than double over the forecast period.

Srinivasan says: “In China, emphasis has traditionally been placed on investment in new power plant capacity additions, whereas investment in developing and refurbishing the existing power grid has been limited.

“However, China’s State Grid Corp. has planned a total investment of $250 billion for the country’s power infrastructure between 2011 and 2016, of which $45 billion will go towards the development of smart grid technology. China’s three-stage plan will promote an additional $240 billion investment from 2016 to 2020, making government spending a key market driver,” the analyst concludes.

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