Like much of the electricity grid, high-voltage transmission in service today relies on many of the same technologies that existed at their conception over 100 years ago. In the last 20 years, however, transmission technologies have benefited from a new stage of innovation. Today over two-thirds of new large-scale transmission systems planned or under construction are high voltage direct-current (HVDC) systems. These are an essential component of grid buildouts to meet the growth in demand for electricity. Around the world, HVDC is being relied upon to combine large amounts of intermittent renewable energy, as well as rapid capacity expansions of bulk power transmission to meet vibrant economic growth in the developing world.
HVDC transmission is by nature, capital intensive and in many world regions they are driven by government programs. In other regions, planned HVDC systems are at the mercy of capital availability and balkanized regulatory frameworks. Pike Research says these factors, combined with the uncertainties of the global economy, lead it to the conclusion that there is likely to be a significant gap between the planned level of investment in HVDC systems and the investment level that will actually happen. The company’s analysis indicates that while the planned cumulative investment in HVDC amounts to nearly $220 billion through 2020, there is an 80% probability that the actual range of investment during that period will only be between $110 and $120 billion.
The authors say this report provides a comprehensive analysis of the global market opportunity for HVDC transmission systems. The study examines key market drivers and barriers by world region, policy and regulatory issues, economics of transmission system construction and operations, HVDC technology issues, profiles of key industry players, and a comprehensive database of HVDC systems planned and under construction. Market forecasts for HVDC systems and spending are provided through 2020, with segmentation by world region, including a probabilistic analysis of the likelihood of various investment levels during the forecast period.
Key questions the 100-page, $3,900 report answers include:
- What are the primary HVDC components and cable technologies and how are they being deployed?
- What are the key drivers influencing this market?
- What are the technology issues facing participants and how are they evolving?
- What is a realistic forecast of systems that are likely to actually be constructed and how much of an investment does this group represent?