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US Electric Transmission & Distribution Equipment Market

  • May 2013
  • 317 pages
  • Freedonia
Report ID: 1211164


Table of Contents

US demand to climb 4.8% annually through 2017

US demand for electric transmission and distribution (T&D) equipment is forecast to climb 4.8 percent annually to $30.4 billion in 2017, accelerating from the 2007-2012 period, when product sales in every major market for these products slowed. The rising utilization of renewable energy sources in electricity generation will drive market growth, as new installations will require a significant amount of equipment to transmit power along the electric grid. Independent power producers’ (IPPs) and nonutility generators’ (NUGs) expanding share of electricity generation will also stimulate gains since -- similar to the use of renewable energy sources -- connecting new operations to the grid will require a significant investment in electric T&D equipment. In addition, the continued adoption of “smart” technologies will provide growth opportunities as the electric grid is updated with efficiency and reliability in mind.

Electric utility market to remain dominant

Historically, electric utilities have been the largest customers for electric T&D equipment, and this will continue to be true. Despite below-average growth, the result of a deceleration in electric utility capital expenditures, this market will represent over half of all product demand in 2017. However, the industrial and nonutility generator market will post larger gains in percentage terms, supported by the growing importance of IPPs and NUGs. The greatest sales increases in this sector will be for switchgear products such as power circuit breakers and power switching equipment. Advances will reflect heavy investment by these firms to protect sensitive industrial machinery and connect new facilities to the grid. In 2017, industrial and nonutility generator demand will account for one-third of all electric T&D equipment sales.

Residential market to be fastest growing segment

The residential market is expected to post the greatest gains in percentage terms through 2017 after struggling between 2002 and 2012. Sales advances will be spurred by a marked rebound in residential construction expenditures and regulatory changes requiring increased use of arc-fault circuit interrupters. The commercial market is also projected to record above-average growth as commercial construction activity recovers and use of sensitive electronics like computers and security systems continues to climb.

Government and institutional product demand will rise at the slowest pace of any major market due to ongoing efforts to reduce federal budget deficits.

Electric meters, nonutility transformers to pace gains

Electric meters and nonutility transformers are expected to register the fastest sales increases of any electric T&D equipment product. The ongoing development of the “smart grid” and related demand for “smart meters” (which cost about twice as much as traditional electric meters) will help spur meter value gains. The rising popularity of distributed generation and net metering programs -- which require meters to read electricity inflows and outflows -- as well as the labor cost savings associated with usage of smart meters, will also fortify demand. Other products that will experience sizable sales growth through 2017 include molded case circuit breakers, nonutility transformers, and power circuit breakers, supported by expansion of the industrial and nonutility generator market.

Study coverage

Details of these and other findings are presented in Electric Transmission & Distribution Equipment, an upcoming Freedonia industry study priced at $5100. It offers historical demand data for 2002, 2007 and 2012, plus forecasts for 2017 and 2022 by product and market. The study also assesses market environment factors, evaluates company market share, and profiles 35 US industry competitors.

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