Transmission and distribution market undergoes major change

transmission and distribution
Top countries by line addition in transmission infrastructure 2018-2025, source: GlobalData, Power Intelligence Centre

New data has revealed the transmission and distribution market is undergoing major changes driven by renewable power, distributed generation and electric vehicles.

According to GlobalData, the change is being led by several countries that are striving for better efficiencies, developing more suitable sources of renewable energy and are upgrading their transmission lines to higher voltages in order to reduce transmission losses.

The company’s latest report, ‘Transmission and Distribution (T&D) Market Infrastructure, Upcoming Projects, Investments, Key Operators, and Key Country Analysis to 2025’ reveals that based on upcoming transmission line projects under various stages of development, China and India are set to add the most transmission lines, between 2018 and 2025.

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In a country where consumption hotspots are usually far apart, China is increasing its renewable power generation each year. To connect these regions to the grid, and to connect the increasing power capacity to the supply network, transmission and distribution lines are being added at a significant rate every year.

Senior Power Analyst at GlobalData Harshavardhan Reddy Nagatham says technological changes and upgrades are being made in the T&D market in order to make the transmission systems more stable against the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources.

“Increasing renewable power capacity has increased the need for countries to interconnect their transmission systems in order to balance generation and demand through the export and import of electricity,” he says. “This in turn has pushed the construction of higher capacity interconnection lines.”

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Similar to transmission lines, the distribution line market is also witnessing rapid transformation in European countries, India, and China, either in terms of volume or advancement in technology. In underdeveloped and developing countries, the growth in the market is brought about by the expansion of their respective grids to provide electricity to all parts of the country. In developed countries where there is universal access to electricity, the growth of the distribution market is in terms of the upgrading of these lines with advanced technologies.

Nagatham adds, “In these countries, distribution utilities that would previously only connect generation sources to consumption points are now turning into electricity aggregators sourcing electricity not only from large generating stations, but also from distributed sources including homes, and matching it with the demand using technology.

“It is in these countries that the use of electric vehicles is steadily increasing and distribution companies are creating new avenues of business by providing the requisite infrastructure along with the existing network.”