Transmission & Distribution Infrastructure Market: Overview
Transmission and distribution (T&D) infrastructure can be defined as the infrastructure required to deliver electricity from power plants to end-users. The process starts with the production of electricity, at a low voltage, by power plants. The voltage level is increased by using transformers in order to prepare the power for transport. High voltage ensures low energy loss during transportation. The power is then transported along transmission lines to substations, where its voltage level is again reduced before distributing it to end-users such as residential, commercial, and industrial customers. The transmission and distribution process starts with transformers and ends with distribution lines.
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For the last several decades, investment in transmission and distribution network has been consistent across the world, as electricity consumption has risen consistently. Meanwhile, end-use of transmission & distribution infrastructure is expected to change during the forecast period. For example, increased generation of rooftop solar power and risen energy efficiency have reduced the requirement for transmission & distribution infrastructure. However, demand for transmission & distribution infrastructure is increasing, due to adoption of electric vehicles.
Transmission & Distribution Infrastructure Market: Drivers & Restraints
Other drivers of the transmission & distribution infrastructure market include ageing infrastructure, increased demand for reliable power, and shift from coal-powered electricity generation toward natural gas-powered generation. However, transmission and distribution infrastructure requires high investments, while the return on investment (RoI) takes a long time. This restrains the transmission & distribution infrastructure market. Transmission and distribution infrastructure also requires permissions of several government departments. In a majority of cases, the infrastructure is spread across states, provinces, and countries. The large number of permissions required can hamper the transmission & distribution infrastructure market. Similarly, the ‘right-of-way’ associated with electricity grids can also be a restraining factor, due to the large amount of land required.
Transmission & Distribution Infrastructure Market: Key Segments
The global transmission & distribution infrastructure market can be segmented based on type, equipment, and region. In terms of type, the transmission & distribution infrastructure market can be segregated into transmission infrastructure and distribution infrastructure. The former primarily consists of transformers and transmission lines, while the latter primarily consists of substations and distribution lines. While distribution infrastructure can be found close to inhabited spaces, transmission infrastructure can be found close to power plants and across vast strips of empty lands.
In terms of equipment, the transmission & distribution infrastructure market can be segmented into substation transformers & associated equipment, transmission lines, distribution lines, and distribution automation. While the first three segments comprise hardware, the distribution automation segment includes various software for use in fault detection, isolation, and recovery (FDIR) and volt/VAR optimization.
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Transmission & Distribution Infrastructure Market: Regional Outlook
In terms of region, the global transmission & distribution infrastructure market can be segmented into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. Earlier, developed countries such as the U.S., the U.K., and Japan witnessed high investments in the transmission & distribution infrastructure market. However, developing countries such as India, China, Brazil, and South Africa are expected to witness high investments during the forecast period.
Transmission & Distribution Infrastructure Market: Key Players
A wide range of companies operate in the global transmission & distribution infrastructure market. It is a fragmented market with a large number of local and multinational players. As a result, major companies hold only a small share of the market. Some of the important players in the transmission & distribution infrastructure market include Siemens, ABB Group, Alstom, Eaton, Mitsubishi, and Crompton Greaves.