SOURCE: Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan

March 28, 2011 04:53 ET

Frost & Sullivan: Advent of Smart Grids Charges Up the High and Medium-Voltage Switchgear Markets

LONDON--(Marketwire - March 28, 2011) - The market for both high- and medium-voltage switchgears is tied to the development of infrastructure, as they are integral to the electrical network, both in the transmission and distribution space. An increase in the electrical installed capacity of developing and developed countries and the rising need for energy in commercial and industrial sectors are driving the demand for switchgears.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.energy.frost.com), European High and Medium Voltage Switchgear Markets, finds that by 2016, the high-voltage switchgear market is likely to reach $1.09 billion and the medium voltage switchgear market, $1.65 billion.

In Europe, the proliferation of smart grids has resulted in a complete overhaul of electricity grids. Smart grids will modernize every facet of the electric delivery system including generation, transmission, distribution and consumption. The focus will be on the integration of intelligence into the existing switchgear across Europe. An intelligent switchgear will significantly enhance the efficiency and reliability of a grid and help utilities avoid blackouts and equipment failure.

"A significant step in total grid automation is the harmonization of the electrical grids," says Frost & Sullivan Energy & Power Team Lead Vikas Ravindran. "Interconnection of grids presents exciting opportunities for manufacturers, utilities and distributed network operators (DNO) alike."

HVDC has emerged the most viable technology for grid harmonisation. With 16 out of the 28 announced projects completed, the European electricity markets are heading towards homogeneity in their electricity networks.

Owing to these grid automations and harmonisation, the market for high- and medium-voltage switchgear is growing despite its maturity. As the market has not witnessed many technological or product innovations, switchgear manufacturers are abandoning the traditional product-based approach for more innovative methods.

The market nuances vary for high- and medium-voltage switchgear and since there is not much technological differentiation in the systems, value-added services will help companies stand out in the market.

"Designing an appropriate solution is not only important to gain approval but is also critical to garner a substantial share of the market," notes Vikas. "A homogenous mix of product and service offering will usually ensure strong revenue growth."

Manufacturers also have to strategise, to deal with the price pressures caused by the recent economic downturn and the influx of manufacturers from China, India and South Korea. De-regulation and business dynamics also constantly pressure utilities to do more with less.

These challenges of price pressure and stagnant product development can be counterbalanced by the constant developments in offshore wind farms, as they offer greater scope than onshore wind farms for switchgear utilisation. Its large coastline and favourable regulatory environment have given a leg up to Europe's offshore wind projects since 2007, with major advances in the northern European countries. This development presents considerable market opportunities for switchgear manufacturers.

If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an e-mail with your contact details to Chiara Carella, Corporate Communications, at chiara.carella@frost.com.

European High and Medium Voltage Switchgear Markets is part of the Energy & Power Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: European Power and Distribution Transformer Markets. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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European High and Medium Voltage Switchgear Markets
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