The South and Central America High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission systems market are expected to grow at a CAGR of over 40% during the forecast period of 2020 – 2025. Factors such as low cost for long-distance transmission, controllability, and lower short circuit current are expected to drive the HVDC transmission systems in the South and Central America region. Also, the governments of the countries have begun to encourage renewable electricity generation, the ability of HVDC transmission technology to integrate the new generation with the existing infrastructure is driving the market. However, with the increasing share of distributed and off-grid power generation, the need and, in turn, the demand for HVDC transmission systems is expected to be reduced, which is expected to restrain the market during the forecast period.
- The submarine HVDC transmission system segment is expected to witness increasing demand, owing to the development of submarine power cables in major countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Chile.
- The growing energy demand as well as the growth of the renewable energy sector in South America region, is expected to create significant opportunities for the HVDC transmission systems market soon.
- Brazil is expected to dominate the market in South and Central America region, owing to the increased electricity demand in the form of hydroelectric generation.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Demand for Submarine HVDC Transmission System
- The submarine transmission of electricity is gaining importance on account of increasing focus on power trading between countries. The HVDC submarine power transmission system is considered as a key technology for the development of future power transmission networks.
- It is also the only solution available for the transfer of high power across long subsea distances. For these reasons, HVDC lines are preferred for interconnecting offshore wind plants worldwide.
- In the HVDC transmission system, the submarine power cables can be less costly, especially on a long link where the capacitance of the cable requires too much additional charging current.
- Malbec submarine cable connecting Argentina to Brazil is expected to be ready for service in August. The cable’s two landing stations, in Brazil’s Praia Grande and Argentina’s Las Toninas, are already in place, having been deployed in February. The project began in 2018 and its latest ready-for-service date is Q2 this year.
- Also, EllaLink’s Europe-South America cable is under construction (also at Alcatel Submarine Networks’ ASN plant in Calais) and expected to see its maritime roll-out starting in July.
- Therefore, based on above-mentioned factors, submarine HVDC transmission systems is expected to maintain its growth momentum in South & Central America region during the forecast period.
Brazil to Dominate the Market
- The market for HVDC in Brazil is likely to grow at a significant rate during the forecast period. Brazil has the largest electricity market in South America. Hydroelectricity provides more than 70% of Brazil's generation. Its total power generation installed capacity is comparable to that of Italy and the United Kingdom, although with a much more extensive transmission network.
- Brazil generates the third-highest amount of electricity in the Americas. The region followed by Chile and the rest of the central and Southern American regions. Hydroelectricity is the major form of electricity and the remaining electricity gets generated by fossil fuel and biomass.
- During 2017, Brazil had 136,835 km of transmission lines and 343,816 MVA of transformer capacity at the 230 kV to 750 kV levels. The length of transmission lines increased at a CAGR of 6% during the period 2006-16. State Grid Brazil Holding (SGBH) has the country’s largest ±800 kV high voltage direct current (HVDC) line into operation in December 2017. This HVDC line was the first transmission line associated with the 11.2 GW Belo Monte power complex.
- The construction of the Belo Monte-Rio de Janeiro transmission line (2543km), also known as Belo Monte UHVDC Bipole II line, was started in September 2017, and completed in April 2019. The line has two power converter stations and is capable of transmitting 4GW of electricity.
- The hydroelectric generation in the country has been a significant driver of long-haul overland HVDC transmission. Brazil’s Rio Maderia is an example that is located 2,300km away from the load centers in Eastern Brazil.
- Therefore, based on the above-mentioned factors, Brazil is expected to have a positive impact on the HVDC transmission systems market in South & Central America region during the forecast period.
The South and Central America HVDC transmission systems market is moderately fragmented. Some of the major players includes Siemens AG, Toshiba Corporation, General Electric Company, ABB Ltd, and Prysmian Group.
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