Substation automation is an integral part of electrical system for generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. The combination of devices used to change the characteristics of electric supply such as voltage, p.f. and frequency among others is called substation. Substations are used to receive electricity at high voltage from the transmission and decrease the voltage to the appropriate level so that it can be used for local distribution. On the basis of the components substation automation market can be segmented into recloser controller, programmable logic controller, capacitor bank controller, digital transducer/smart meter, load tap controller, communication channel and digital relays among others.
Increasing number of smart grid improving grid efficiency and reliability and increasing need for reduction in transmission and distribution loss are the major forces driving the growth of substation automation market. Apart from this, demand for distributed intelligence is also fuelling the growth of substation automation market. The increasing demand for electricity with rapid industrialization in the emerging economies of Asia Pacific is also boosting the growth of substation automation market.
North America accounted for the largest market share in 2013, which is expected to lure heavy investment and at the same time high end research is expected to be carried out in the field of substation automation. In addition, increasing demand for reduction in outrage time improving the transmission efficiency is also fuelling the growth of substation automation market. The Asia Pacific substation automation market was valued at USD 19.55 billion in 2013, and is expected to be the fastest growing substation automation market in the forecast period. Increasing demand for electricity and reduction in transmission and distribution loss is the major factor driving the growth in this segment. Apart from this, the ageing infrastructure of existing power utilities and the need to upgrade them to meet rising demand of electricity is also boosting the growth in this region.
Communication channel represented the largest substation automation segment by components in 2013. Apart from this, communication channel segment is also expected to exhibit fastest growth during the forecast period from 2014 to 2020. The rising demand for improvement in communication capabilities to communicate with remote locations in order to improve overall efficiency of power utilities is the major factor boosting the growth in this segment.
Major industry participants include ABB Ltd. (Switzerland), Trilliant Inc. (U.S.), Alstom S.A. (France), Schneider Electric S.E. (France), Cisco Systems, Inc. (U.S.), Siemens A.G. (Germany), Eaton Corporation Plc. (Ireland), GE Energy Management (U.S.), Itron, Inc. (U.S.) and Echelon Corporation (U.S.) among others.