The Middle-East and Africa DC distribution networks market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 6% during the forecast period of 2020 – 2025. The appearance of direct current (DC) distribution network in several low-to-high voltage applications is one of the catalysts driving the transformation of the electricity distribution market. Factors such as growth in the renewable energy sector, compatibility with battery storage devices, and advantages over AC distribution, like power-sharing between systems with different frequencies are expected to drive the market over the forecast period. High initial cost and a lot of complexity compared to generic distribution networks are the factors expected to hinder the growth of the market studied.
- Electric Vehicle (EV) fast charging systems is expected to witness significant demand, owing to the growing environmental concerns, and increasing demand for DC infrastructure.
- Distribution grids must be upgraded. They need to become smart grids so that they remain stable even when electricity generation fluctuates which gives an opportunity the market.
- Saudi Arabia is expected to witness significant demand during the forecast period, owing to the growth in power sector and increasing demand for electricity in the country.
Key Market Trends
Electric Vehicle (EV) Fast Charging Systems Witnessing Significant Growth
- The electric vehicle (EV) charging system segment is booming due to many factors such as increasing adoption of electric vehicles, supportive government policies across the Middle-East and African countries etc. Moreover, oil is considered as a limited resource, and an alternate source of transportation fuel like electricity is not only a smart investment but also an inevitable one.
- The number of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs), including battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), have been rising, which, in turn, expected to drive the DC distribution network market, during the forecast period.
- The development in power electronics technology, such as micro grids, is mostly connected to distribution networks. In the power industry, the flexible DC distribution network has got attention for its lower integration and construction costs, reduction in energy loses, and higher reliability.
- The demand for adequate charging equipment is expected to increase, during the forecast period. As EVs are limited by driving range and can usually travel up to 330 miles before recharging, the need for charging infrastructure is imperative for the success of these kinds of vehicles.
- However, in the current market scenario, charging stations are yet to become a viable economic investment, due to their lower utilization and relatively high upfront cost, particularly for DC.
- In July 2020, Delta, global provider of power and thermal management solutions, has launched 200kW ultra-fast EV charger (UFC200) for charging point operators (CPOs) and fleet charging requirements in the Europe, and Middle-East and Africa region. As, the demand for EV fast charging system increases, the demand for dc distribution network increases, respectively.
- Therefore, based on the aforementioned factors, electric vehicles fast charging systems is likely to witness significant demand for DC distribution network market in Middle-East and Africa region during the forecast period.
Saudi Arabia Driving the Market Demand
- The Saudi power sector is on a growth trajectory and is racing to keep up with growing electricity demand. The country is undergoing structural reforms in the power sector that mainly aim at privatizing the sector, including the unbundling of the state-run Saudi Electricity Company (SEC). Investments of more than USD 130 billion are expected to be made in the electricity sector by 2022 to cover a peak load of 110,000 MW.
- The major trends driving this market increase in distribution efficiency, increasing demand for DC dependent infrastructure, the mismatch between renewable source and demand location. Moreover, the DC system can work on variable frequencies, and DC architecture is simpler than AC, requiring less space, equipment, installation, and maintenance.
- As of December 2018, Saudi Arabia had an installed power capacity of over 88.5 GW, out of which SEC shares the maximum generation capacity. The generation capacity of SEC reached 53.53 GW by the end of 2018, while the transmission and distribution networks reached about 83 thousand and 666 thousand kilometers circular, respectively.
- To better equip its grid system for peak power demand, the country led a Gulf Cooperation Council project to link grids of the member states. Moreover, Saudi Arabia runs its electricity transmission network at 380 kV, 60 Hz, while the other five countries in GCC use 400 kV, 50 Hz. Based on the asynchronous nature of the interconnected state’s electricity, the best solution was to add an HVDC interconnection.
- Apart from the HVDC-based cross-border grid interconnection, several projects for grid strengthening and interconnecting regions of Saudi Arabia are planned with 380kV lines. This interconnection helps in increasing the demand for DC distribution systems for the next few years.
The Middle-East and Africa DC distribution networks market is consolidated. Some of the major players include Eaton Corporation PLC, Vertiv Group Corp., Siemens AG, ABB Ltd, and Secheron Sa.
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