Cumulative investment in high-voltage transmission systems will surpass $250 billion from 2014 to 2023, according to a report from Navigant Research.
The dramatic expansion of HVTSs occurring today in Asia Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa recalls the initial wave of electrification and transmission system growth that was seen during the 20th century in North America and Europe.
In particular, the electrification of rural areas and the interconnection of formerly standalone utilities are fueling demand for longer transmission lines.
“The HVTS market will see tremendous capital investment over the next 10 years, as the infrastructure that was installed in the post-World War II era ages out, coal and nuclear generation is retired, and new utility scale renewable wind and solar generation is installed in remote areas,” says James McCray, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “As these technologies become more powerful and smarter, the associated IT systems used to manage complicated HVTS deployments now leverage digital wireless sensors in every new piece of equipment, enabling better visibility on the performance, health, and capacity of the transmission system at every point along the way.”
The HVTS vendor landscape is also changing, according to the report, as the focus shifts to rebuilding and extending transmission lines to utility-scale wind and solar in remote regions and deploying mega-scale HVTS infrastructure across China, India, and parts of Africa.
These efforts will create markets over the next decade, and companies like General Electric, with its joint venture agreement with China XD Group and its merger proposal with Alstom, are looking to expand their product manufacturing, sales, and delivery capabilities in all regions.