Distribution automation a top priority for smart grid utilities

ARC Advisory Group's study shows utilities are putting a higher emphasis on adding intelligence and control capabilities to distribution infrastructure to meet growing demand and save energy overall.

07/29/2012


Forecast of electric power distribution automation from 2011-2016. China's investment in smart grid technology is expected to account for a great deal of the industry's growth and evolution. Courtesy: ARC Advisory GroupThe Distribution Automation System market has become a top priority for smart grid utilities, across the board and around the world. In recent years, advanced metering infrastructure and demand response were the darlings of the industry, but now the utilities are turning their attention to improving efficiency and control in the distribution segment of the grid that lies between the substation and the meter. 

Besides the tangible benefits of improving reliability and efficiency within grid operations, distribution automation system implementations and upgrades have another important attribute — the ability to deliver strong return on investment without requiring extensive consumer engagement or behavior change.  In a nutshell, utilities are placing increased emphasis on adding greater intelligence and control capabilities to their distribution infrastructure. 

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.  

“The Electric Power Distribution Automation System market is being driven by the world’s continued demand for more energy as utilities are faced with the challenges of realizing a good ROI while providing a higher level of service to their customers.  These challenges drive the need to conserve energy (specifically the energy lost in the distribution network), defer the building of additional generation facilities, and improve customer service,” according to Steve Clouther, the author of ARC’s “Electric Power Distribution Automation Systems Worldwide Outlook."

Distribution Automation System Providers

The distribution automation systems market has a diverse group of players and market share leaders, even though the typical range of a distribution network is relatively short; i.e., a distribution network carries electricity from a sub-station to consumers.  

The market leaders for worldwide distribution automation are subsidiaries and/or divisions of large international control companies with an expansive global presence.  Collectively, the top ten vendors account for 71 percent of the 2011 worldwide distribution automation systems market. 

China Is “All In” on the Smart Grid

At the 2011 Smart Grid World Forum in Beijing (October 2011), China’s State Grid Corporation announced plans to invest $250 billion in electric power infrastructure upgrades over the next five years, of which $45 billion is earmarked for smart grid technologies.  According to its three-stage plan, China will invest another $240 billion between 2016 and 2020 (including another $45 billion toward smart grid technologies) to complete the build-out of a “stronger, smarter” Chinese power grid.

China to Be a Driving Force in Distribution Automation

According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2011, by 2015 China will overtake the US, and become the leader in total electric power generation capacity. By 2035, China will consume nearly 70 percent more energy than the United States. With explosive growth such as this, China leads the way in distribution automation.

ARC Advisory Group

www.arcweb.com 

- Edited by Chris Vavra, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com 



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
Detecting security breaches: Forensic invenstigations depend on knowing your networks inside and out; Wireless workers; Opening robotic control; Product exclusive: Robust encoders
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide
 

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.