Distribution automation revenue to surpass $11 billion by 2020

- In the context of smart grid deployments today, distribution automation DA refers to intelligent distribution systems that are fully controllable and flexible, and that can help operate the grid more efficiently due to their embedded intelligence.

The lessons learned from smart grid pilots over the last 5 years are leading to proven reliability improvements and verified grid efficiencies, which in turn have become powerful drivers for growth in the DA market. According to a new report from Navigant Research, revenue from distribution automation systems will grow from $6.3 billion in 2013 to more than $11.

3 billion in 2020.

“The global market for distribution automation is diverse, dynamic and growing,” says Kristoffer Torvik, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “As annual utility spending reaches and exceeds $10 billion in the coming years, opportunities will vary significantly by region and application. Although low voltage applications contribute most significantly to growth in DA, medium voltage automation constitutes the majority of the overall volume.”

DA technology can play a critical role in outage recovery, delivering the capability to sense and pinpoint faults, reroute power flows through dynamic sectionalizing, and even provide key location information back to line crews to speed repair and recovery. Collectively, this type of application is called fault location, isolation, and service restoration FLISR. However, few distribution feeders in North America currently have such capability, largely because the cost of rollout has traditionally been too high. According to the report, as interest in DA continues to grow, FLISR will be a key application area, particularly in North America and in other regions as well.

The report, “Distribution Automation”, analyzes the global market trends for low voltage and medium voltage automation and communication. The technical discussion revolves around the intelligent electronic devices inside and outside the substation fence and the functional evolution of distribution automation. The report provides a comprehensive assessment of the demand drivers, business cases, regional differences, and technology issues that are shaping the DA market. Key industry players are profiled in depth, and worldwide revenue and capacity forecasts, segmented by application and region, extend through 2020.


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