The Switchgear Market in Australia is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6% over the forecast period 2020 to 2025. Increasing electricity generation and consumption, along with the changing power generation industry dynamics, are expected to be the major drivers for the transmission and distribution of power, which is expected to drive the switchgear market in Australia.
- The primary factor fuelling the switchgear market growth in Australia is the rising construction activities in the country owing to the increasing focus on infrastructure along with a growing demand for renewable energy sources. For instance, the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) forecasts total building and construction activity to decline to AUD 229.4 billion in FY2020-21 from current AUD 233.3 billion in FY2018-19, before growing to AUD 234.5 billion in FY 2021-22.
- Increasing expenditure towards infrastructural development along with regulatory measures for the expansion of the power grid in rural areas is enhancing the market size. Government directives to replace older redundant systems to achieve operational safety and security in industrial establishments are also triggering the market growth. The Australian Government is investing AUD 100 billion over ten years from 2019-20 through its rolling infrastructure plan to help manage its growing population, meet national freight challenges, and get Australians home sooner and safer. This includes an additional AUD 23 billion of new funding in the 2019–20 budget for new projects and initiatives that will benefit every state and territory and provide local job opportunities.
- Eastern Australia National Electricity Market (NEM) operates the world’s most extensive interconnected power system that runs for more than 5,000 kilometers from North Queensland to Tasmania and central South Australia, and meet the demand of more than 10 million end-users. This is expected to drive the demand for switchgears during the forecast period.
- Australia switchgear market is expected to be impacted significantly by COVID-19 outbreak as major suppliers for the raw materials, as well as the finished products, are hugely impacted. The industry is facing a reduction in production, disruption in the supply chain, and price fluctuations. The industry is also affected by the impact of coronavirus on the power sector of the country. Demand for goods and services and cash flow of vendors have considerably reduced.
Key Market Trends
High Voltage Switchgear to have Significant Market Share
- High voltage switchgear consists of high-voltage components such as circuit-breakers and disconnectors. They are majorly used in places like in city buildings, office spaces, on offshore platforms, extensions, on roofs, etc.
- High voltage switchgears are broadly categorized as Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) and Air Insulated Switchgear (AIS). The major applications of GIS are power transmission,railways, and integration of renewable power generation units to the grid.
- Demand for high voltage switchgears will be propelled by the country’s potential to integrate renewable power generation units to the grid. For instance, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), by 2025, the Australian grid could derive 75% of electricity from renewables mainly from wind and solar.
- According to Electricity (Network Safety) Regulations 2015, Western Australia, electricity network operator, or electrical contractor who intends to design, construct, commission, operate, maintain and or decommission an electricity network must comply with Australian Standard AS 62271 for high voltage a.c. Switchgear and control gear.
- The major factors driving the growth is the rising energy demand and extension/replacement of old switchgear at sub-stations. Also, due to its space optimization, low maintenance, and protection against external elements, the demand for switchgear in Australia is expected to rise.
Adoption of Renewable Sources of Energy to Drive the Market
- Prompted by the South Australia system-wide blackout of September 2016 and the Finkel Review, the government is implementing reforms to foster security of supply, including a retailer reliability obligation, adjustments to system operation, and planning for market design post-2025 at higher levels of variable renewables. This is expected to drive the demand for switchgears during the forecast period.
- According to Rystad Energy, new projects proposed in 2019 represented almost AUD 60 billion in potential investment in Australia, with large-scale solar farms leading the charge. Renewable energy projects completed in 2020 include 226 MW Murra Warra Wind Farm in Victoria, 105 MW Nevertire Solar Farm in New South Wales, among others.
- Based on the outcomes of the 2017 climate policies and Finkel reviews, Australia developed a low emission strategy to reach the INDC of 26-28% CO2 emissions reduction in the electricity sector by 2030. In 2017, the government launched a AUD 5 million Solar Communities program, which will support local responses to climate change and deliver lower electricity costs for community organizations. The program will provide funding for community groups in selected regions across Australia to install rooftop solar PV, solar hot water, and solar-connected battery systems.
- Government regulations for sustainable energy consumption will drive the demand for switchgear in the country. For instance, on 28 June 2019, Standards Australia’s Committee CS-028 on Solar Water Heaters published its first standard on solar air conditioning, named AS 5389. It contains a methodology to calculate the cooling or heating loads of buildings under a variety of climatic conditions.
Australia Switchgear Market is fragmented in nature because there is no major player with high marketshare. Major players include ABB Ltd., Schneider Electric SE, Tamco Switchgear Malaysia SDN BHD, among others. Few recent developments are:
- May 2020 - French company Neoen partnered with CleanCo to build the largest solar project of Australia in the Western Downs region, which can generate 400MWac. Western Downs will be powered by the SMA inverter MVPS 6000-S-AU, operating at 1500 Vdc. The inverters will be manufactured by SMA in Kassel, Germany, and assembled in Wodonga, Victoria, with transformer manufacturer Wilson Transformer Company (WTC). The project will generate energy to power 235,000 Queensland homes or enough to power every home on the Sunshine Coast.
- April 2020 - ABB expands its UniGear medium-voltage switchgear portfolio by introducing UniGear ZS1 63 kA, which further strengthens the portfolio. It can be used for demanding applications like power stations and steel, oil&gas, and chemical plants.
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