New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.industrialautomation.frost.com), World Automation and Control Solutions Market in Power Industry, finds that the market earned revenues of $6.27 billion in 2008 and estimates this to reach $8.97 billion in 2015.
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'There is substantial potential for automation solutions in the power industry across both developed and developing nations,' says Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Muthuraman Ramasamy. 'The introduction of smart grid technologies is expected to drive automation business in developed economies and the latent demand will buoy the prospects in emerging economies.'
Participants are likely to obtain most of their revenues from smart grids' advanced metering infrastructure, distribution automation management, and transmission automation. Notably, the need for testing and certification of these systems is expected to give a huge boost to the automation market.
'Meanwhile, the retirement of baby-bloomers and experienced workforce has resulted in a void, which is being filled by a workforce low on skill levels,' notes Ramasamy. 'This would drive the adoption of knowledge management systems, training simulators, and other connected automation components, as it dramatically reduces the need for experienced workforce.'
While emerging economies mostly invest in green-field power projects, the developed economies invest in retrofits and smart grids. End users are being cautious in investing in both legacy system refurbishments and green-field projects due to the current economic situation.
The increased interest in alternative energy sources might also dampen the demand for automation equipment in the long term because the level of automation required is very less in renewable electricity generating sources, compared to traditional sources.
To tide over these challenges, automation equipment suppliers have to diligently position their product line and offer comprehensive and value-added features. As price is likely to be a decisive purchase factor, solution providers must also adopt cost-effective migration strategies while upgrading customers' systems. This strategy would do well in building credibility through tighter integration of heterogeneous solutions and customer-centric service strategies.
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