The large-scale rise in urbanization and suburbanization across both developed and developing regions is augmenting substation industry share worldwide. With the demand for continuous and uninterrupted power supply rising globally, active investments towards the upgradation of transmission and distribution infrastructure are increasing.

In addition to expanding the electrical infrastructure, respective governments are also introducing incentive programs to make transmission and distribution efficient. Ongoing expenses to retrofit and refurbish existing grid infrastructure as well as to deploy new smart grids will boost substation demand significantly.

In 2020, more than 18,000 substation units were installed worldwide. Reports estimate that the global substation market size could expand at over 3% CAGR up to 2027. Following are some of the key factors that will influence substation demand trends over the next few years.   

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Rapid integration of renewable energy

Renewable energy deployment continues to gather pace globally, powered by nonstop efforts by governments and regulators. The shift towards renewable power systems is creating a need for advanced infrastructure. Consequently, the installation of new electrical systems and upgradation of existing ones are driving the market for ≤ 33 kV substation units. These are advanced systems with high voltage current capacity and excellent fire resistance. Shifting focus of both regulatory bodies and consumers towards sustainable approaches will foster the technology demand in the future.

Need for more efficient electric systems

Electric systems, which are a crucial component of a substation, are expected to witness notable demand in the substation industry. These systems include transformers, protection devices, busbars, and other components. Accurate fault detection, optimal fault correction, and effective capabilities are key characteristics of these components.

Digitalization of grid infrastructure, rapid industrialization, and technological innovations have led to the development of advanced electrical systems. Such systems are anticipated to witness strong demand as the need for energy-efficient, fire-resistance, and reliable electrical equipment rises.

Increasing deployment across utilities

Rapid growth in urbanization and commercialization across the world is driving new investments in utility-based electrification networks. Ongoing paradigm shift towards conversion of over head electrical lines to underground networks and aerial bunched cables will augment substation market share from the utility sector. increasing demand across utilities can be also associated with the introduction of favorable regulatory schemes to accelerate rural electrification efforts. The incorporation of decentralized microgrid networks in autonomous areas will further amplify this demand.

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Modernization of T&D networks in North America

To meet the growing energy demand in a sustainable manner, the North American region is increasingly focusing on advancing its transmission and distribution infrastructure. Over the years, the respective governments have undertaken several initiatives to promote substation automation and monitor control systems. For instance, the Smart Grid Investment Grant program (SGIG) was launched with an aim to accelerate the upgradation of existing T&D networks across the U.S. The initiative was introduced to keep pace with the increasing number of smart grid deployment projects.

COVID-19 pandemic and its impact

Amid widespread disruptions caused by COVID-19, the overall substation industry witnessed a marginal downfall. This is because numerous large-scale electrical infrastructure development and refurbishment projects were temporarily suspended at the start of the pandemic. Despite the roadblocks created by COVID-19, government initiatives to resume major industrial operations and power plants will work in favor of the substation market. Leading players such as Hitachi ABB Power Grids, Schneider Electric, General Electric, Emerson Electric, and Siemens are adopting new strategies to adapt to the changing market conditions.

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