Electric utility companies and grid operators must be well equipped to compensate for loss of power supply as well as fluctuations in power demand. In recent years, even renewable power generation capacity has been added to the grid, which increases the variability of power. Renewable energy power output is irregular due to reasons such as lack of sunlight or unfavorable climate conditions. Supplementary resources are essential to address such irregularities in power generation and supply. To address these imbalances and inconsistencies, ancillary products and services prove useful. Ancillary services can be understood simply as, all those products and services that report and support the continuous flow of power so that supply will consistently match demand under all conditions.
Historically, ancillary services were provided by vertically integrated utility companies. It was not a separate market but integrated into power generation market. Liberalization of power generation and power supply markets has facilitated the entry of new entrants into ancillary services market. In recent years, ancillary services have been provided by grid operators, power system operators, and specialized ancillary services companies. Due to the entry of new services providers, ancillary services market has expanded exponentially.
Ancillary services market has been growing significantly. The U.S, Canada, Germany, Sweden, U.K, Spain and many other developed countries have huge markets for the ancillary services. Various government regulations in regions such as Europe, North America, and Middle East have facilitated for load and responsibility sharing in accordance with ancillary services. Reliable power supply and balancing of irregularities in power transmission is no longer the sole responsibility of electric utility companies. Countries such as India, Brazil, China, South Africa, and Australia have started deployment of ancillary services and products. As industries and consumers become more time sensitive to power supply reliability and power outages, ancillary services will gain more importance. However, lack of clarity on cost of ancillary services and financial incentives could hamper growth in this industry. Recent developments such as government subsidies and public private partnership (PPP) in providing ancillary services could fuel additional growth in the global ancillary services market.
The global ancillary services for power market can be segmented based on the types of services, types of service providers and geography. Ancillary services are mainly of seven types which includes regulation, load following, spinning reserve, non-spinning reserve, supplemental or replacement reserve, voltage support and black start. However, these various services could be bundled and offered in different packages in different regions. The market is currently categorized as cost-based ancillary service providers and market-based ancillary service providers. Europe and North America are major markets for ancillary services for power industry. The U.S, Switzerland, Hungary, Austria and Germany are the major markets for the growth of ancillary services market in these regions. . Asia Pacific and the Middle East have picked up lately and are projected to register higher growth rate in the near future.
Some of the key players in the global ancillary services for power market include the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) Ltd., Alberta Interconnected Electric System (AIES), Ameren, New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), PJM Interconnection LLC, Snowy Hydro Limited, Statnett, Swissgrid, and Transelectrica.