The utility drone market is expected to rise at a CAGR of over 18 % during the forecast period of 2020-2025. Factors such as reducing time and cost in asset management and thus decreasing the number of equipment failures are likely going to drive the utility drone market. However, limited battery backup for being in the air is expected to restrain the utility drone market.
- The multi-rotor segment, due to its low cost than others, is expected to see significant growth in the utility drone market during the forecast period.
- Technological development in drones such as automation and an increase in payload carrying capacities are expected to create several opportunities for utility drone market in the future.
- Asia-Pacific, due to its several projects in power generation, transmission and distribution are expected to see a significant growth of utility drone market during the forecast period. In 2018 the total electricity generation in the Asia-Pacific region was about 46% of the world’s electricity generation.
Key Market Trends
Multi-Rotor Segment Expected to Grow at a Significant Rate
- Multi rotor drones, as the name suggests, are the drone that uses multiple blades or rotors to fly. These drones are easy to control and can operate in a confined area. These drones are majorly used for aerial photography and monitoring the equipment.
- Multi rotor drone due to its low purchasing cost and high efficiency in the work it does, has attracted more attention to the world investment. These drones have the ability to hover at a particular position, thus providing a better visual of the default or problem without risking any human life.
- In 2018, the global electricity generation was about 26614 Terawatt-Hour (TWh), which was higher than what the world produced in 2017, 25676 TWh. The increase in electricity generation depicts the worldwide increase in the number of power plants, which are expected to drive the utility drone market.
- These types of drones are being used by Florida Power and Lighting Technology to inspect the transmission towers and lines. In 2019, the company, through drones, inspected about 4000 miles of transmission lines, and overall, the company has inspected about more than 12000 miles of transmission lines. For inspection, they use the DJI Phantom 4 Pro model of drone using multi-rotor technology.
- In 2019, Terra Drone Corporation got a framework agreement to provide unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) services for the Ordnance Survey, the national mapping agency of the United Kingdom. The company has already received over 500 survey locations to survey and will use a range of fixed-wing and multi-rotor UAVs to carry out the surveys.
- Hence, owing to the above points, the multi-rotor segment is likely to see significant growth in the utility drone market during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific Expected to Grow at a Significant Rate
- Asia-Pacific region, due to the constant increase in the energy demand in the region, is likely to be the fastest-growing market for the utility drone market. Many big companies in the energy and power business in the region see utility drone usage as a new and safe way for their asset management.
- Countries such as China, Japan, and South Korea have shown their keen interest in the utility drone market. The motives behind these interests are to save the non-productive time of the plants, which may occur due to any default by being proactive for any such situations and not risking human life.
- These drone services are extremely useful in places such as nuclear power plants or gas power plants, where without proper visual investigation, it becomes difficult to measure the seriousness of the problem.
- In 2019, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd., a Japanese company announced that it would be using drone technology for the easy and efficient inspection of the interiors of the power plant boilers and other large indoor structures.
- In 2019, Terra Drone Corporation successfully completed its non-destructive testing (NDT) by inspecting a 160 meters chimney at a thermal power plant in Japan. A major job of the chimney inspection was to measure the thickness of the steel plate in a chimney windshield or flue. The chimney inspection was done using ultrasonic testing (UT) drone.
- Hence, owing to the above points, Asia-Pacific is expected to see significant market growth of the utility drone market during the forecast period.
The utility drone market is moderately fragmented. Some of the key players in this market include SZ DJI Technology Co Ltd, Terra Drone Corp., PrecisionHawk Inc., Delair SAS, and Aerodyne Group.
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