The global distribution automation (DA) market faces many technical challenges in terms of conventional distribution automation systems. However, the market opportunities are beginning to reach into the distribution sector such as real-time pricing and demand response. On the other hand, new technological features of DA systems provide more potential for the growth of the global DA market.
Features of DA Systems
Distribution automation encompasses different protocols and technologies which include processors, switches, sensors and communication that monitor and control electric distribution automation system (DAS) without any involvement from humans. This boosts the efficiently of DAS by saving energy and system loss. It also increases the DAS reliability by reducing frequency and duration of power outages and allows higher penetration of distributed energy resources.
In addition, distribution automation improves the utilization and efficiency of DAS and allows for cost-effective penetration of distributed energy resources (DER). DER as a system helps to build central generation station. Automation of distribution system allows for reducing operation and maintenance cost effectively. This is one major factor which will drive the growth of the distribution automation system market in the future.
Even though, the DA market faces some technical challenges, market analysts have predicted that in the coming years this market will witness a significant growth. The factors driving the growth of the market are increasing reliability and efficiency of the distribution automation systems, lowered cost and maintenance for DAS, and reduced power outage times.
The market’s growth is suppressed due to the lack of standardization in communication technology and infrastructure and modernization of the current switchgear equipment. The industry of distribution automation will witness substantial growth in the coming years due to market opportunities from rural untapped market and technological innovations.
Segmentation of the Global DA Market
The global distribution automation market is segmented into three main sectors which are according to the product type, end-user type, and geography. According to the product type, the market is segmented into switching and power reliability devices, power quality and efficiency devices, and monitoring and control devices.
Residential segment, commercial segment, and industrial segment are the end-user types in this market. A market intelligence firm has predicted that the residential segment will witness the highest rate of growth with a CAGR of 12%. This growth is attributed to the factor – improved reliability due to reduced duration and number of power outages and the quality of service. Geography-wise, the market is segmented into Europe, Asia-Pacific, North America, and Rest of the World.
Global DA Market Insights
A market intelligence company has stated that the market will reach a value of $17,677.2 million with a CAGR of 8.5% during the forecast period of 2013 to 2019. The global distribution automation equipment market generated $9,986.3 million in 2012.
During 2012, Europe was the largest market (32.2%) for DA. The growth of Europe in the global DA market is attributed to the increased investment in DA equipment by richest European nations such as France, U.K., Italy, and Germany. Furthermore, according to the survey from Greentech grid, Europe invested $6.84 billion in smart meters beginning from 2001 to 2012.
In addition, monitoring and control devices segment in 2012 accounted for the largest share (36.1%) in the global market. However, it is estimated that efficiency devices and power quality segment will grow at a faster rate during the estimated period.
The top companies dominating the distribution automation market are ABB Limited, Schneider Electric, Siemens AG, and GE Corporation. Some other key players in the market include American Electric Power, Dominion Virginia Power, Cooper Power Systems, Electricite de France, S&C Electric Company, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Alstom Group, Duke Energy Corporation, Tennessee Valley Authority, Nissin Electric Company Limited, among others.