The global gas insulated switchgear (GIS) market is set to grow from $5.23 billion in 2015 to $8.61 billion by 2020, representing a robust compound annual growth rate of 10.5%, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.
The company's latest report states that in the emerging economies of Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, extensive power plant capacity additions and the need to improve access to electricity are driving grid expansion and the GIS market.
Mohamed Shameem, GlobalData's Analyst covering Power, explains: "The US currently dominates the GIS market, and will continue to do so throughout the forecast period, reaching $1.077 billion by 2020. This growth will primarily be driven by the advent of the modern smart grid and the aging infrastructure of the US.
"Saudi Arabia stands second in the global space, and is expected to reach $927 million by 2020, as the country's shift from an oil-based economy into other sectors has supported the growth of the transmission and distribution sector."
In emerging nations such as India and China, GIS market growth will primarily be supported by new capacity additions, mainly through renewable energy sources and the expansion of transmission infrastructure. The rising share of renewable energy will lead to increased investment in global transmission and distribution networks, and the upgrading of old networks is expected to lead to a high demand for GIS in the future.
At a global level, increasing urbanization and growing space constraints near load centers will benefit the GIS market. Land cost is very high in densely-populated urban regions where new substation or capacity addition is difficult. In this way, utilities prefer GIS, which can be fitted into an existing building or underground, consuming much less space than air insulated switchgear, without disturbing the esthetics of the region.
Shameem continues: "Another major factor is the high reliability of GIS, which provides easy operation and maintenance, as all components are enclosed in a single gastight compartment. In the future, GIS manufacturing companies are expected to bring smaller and more efficient switchgear systems into the market, and there will be higher investment and capital spending in the GIS space."