Demand For Power Transmission & Distribution Equipment To Pass $33B Through 2019

Increasing electricity generation by independent power producers and nonutility generators will require heavy investment by firms to protect sensitive industrial machinery, and connect new facilities to the grid.

LONDON — U.S. demand for electric power transmission and distribution (T&D) equipment is expected to rise 5.5 percent annually through 2019 to $33.4 billion. Growth in electricity generation by independent power producers (IPPs) and nonutility generators (NUGs), as well as greater electrical output utilizing renewable resources, will result in increased product sales, since these operations need to be appropriately equipped to deliver power to the electric grid. Furthermore, efforts to modernize the electric grid and improve efficiency and reliability will support market advances via the incorporation of "smart" technologies that provide a number of advantages, but also cost considerably more than conventional equipment.

IPPs & NUGs to drive growth in largest markets

The largest markets for electric power T&D equipment are the electric utility and industrial sectors. In 2014, electric utilities accounted for just over half of total demand, with the industrial sector – including NUGs – representing an additional one-third of the industry. Growth in these markets through 2019 will be supported by increasing electricity generation by IPPs and NUGs, which will require heavy investment by these firms to protect sensitive industrial machinery and connect new facilities to the grid. In addition, rising electric utility equipment spending will provide sales growth opportunities – even though these increases will moderate from the strong pace of the past decade. The much smaller residential electric power T&D equipment market will post the fastest gains through 2019 as residential construction continues its recovery from 2009 lows and updates to the National Electric Code favor more advanced and more expensive arc-fault circuit interrupters. In contrast, the commercial, and government and institutional markets will post below average increases, with the latter expanding the slowest due to ongoing efforts to reduce budget deficits. 

Advanced meters to record strongest demand gains

Advanced metering infrastructure meters are forecast to record the strongest demand gains of any electric power T&D equipment product. Suppliers will benefit from the ongoing development of the "smart grid" and related sales of "smart meters." The ability of these meters to automatically read electricity inflows and outflows, which are necessary for participation in distributed generation and net metering programs, will also boost product demand. Sales of power circuit breakers, metal-clad and metal-enclosed switchgear, and molded case circuit breakers, as well as power and nonutility transformers, will also grow through 2019 as the industrial and NUG market continues to expand. 

Growth in US shipments to slightly lag demand

U.S. shipments of electric power T&D equipment are projected to climb 4.7 percent per year through 2019 to $27.4 billion. The US has historically been a net importer of these products, and the country's trade deficit in electric power T&D equipment will rise through 2019, when it will be equivalent to 15 percent of domestic demand. Canada and Mexico are both significant markets for US exports and important foreign sources of supply. However, the best export opportunities for US manufacturers will likely be in developing countries in Asia and South America, as these areas continue to build their electricity infrastructure. 

Study coverage

This upcoming industry study, Electric Power Transmission & Distribution Equipment, presents historical demand data (2004, 2009 and 2014) plus forecasts (2019 and 2024) by product and market. The study also considers key market environment factors, evaluates company market share, and profiles 34 industry competitors. 
Download the full report:

More in Business Technology