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SCADA Supports Smart Grid Expansion

The SCADA market for electricity transmission & distribution (T&D) is among the most rapidly growing control systems markets in the world.

Markets in mature and developed regions are set to continue expanding over the next few years due to the increasing demand to modernise electric power infrastructures.

The current SCADA T&D market sits at just under US$2.4 billion, and it is expected to grow to US$3.8 billion over the life of this study on a CAGR of 8.9 percent.

The substantial increase in SCADA activity is due to a confluence of worldwide new technology and infrastructure spending driven by sovereign investment programs.

These sovereign investment programs are focused on the expansion of capacity in emerging markets, upgrading of aging transmission and distribution infrastructure, and improvement of reliability and efficiency.

T&D losses between 6% and 8% are considered normal. However, in parts of Asia, like China and India, the inefficiencies and governance issues in the public sector distribution companies have resulted in huge T&D losses ranging from 25% to 35%.

SCADA is not the silver bullet to solve the T&D losses, but it can be very instrumental in identifying where the problems lie.

“The SCADA T&D market is poised to grow with a solid compound annual growth. It is being driven by the world’s continued demand for more energy while the utilities are faced with the challenges of rising fuel costs and the burden of increasingly stringent environmental regulations affecting their operations and costs. These challenges drive the need to conserve energy, specifically the energy lost in transmission & distribution, defer the building of additional generation facilities, and improve customer service,” according to Steve Clouther the author of ARC Advisory Group’s new study SCADA Systems for the Electric Power Industry Worldwide Outlook.

The market leaders for worldwide SCADA systems are subsidiaries and/or divisions of large international control companies with an expansive global presence.

Collectively, the top seven vendors account for almost 70 percent of the 2011 worldwide SCADA market for the electric power industry. Interestingly, all of the leading international SCADA/control companies, except two, are European, with Fuji and GE being the exceptions.

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