- Asia-Pacific is estimated to lead the distribution panels market.
- Transmission & distribution utilities the key end-user of distribution boards.
- Medium voltage distribution boards have received widespread acceptance in the past few years.
The distribution boards market is expected to grow from an estimated $4.33 billion in 2016 to $5.91 billion by 2021, Growing at a CAGR of 6.4% from 2016 to 2021. The market growth is driven by factors such as the growing need to protect electrical components and networks, increasing global electricity demand, increasing power generation, and increasing upgradation of transmission & distribution infrastructure, subsequent investments in renewable power plants, and increasing construction and infrastructural activities across the globe.
Asia Pacific: The leading market for distribution boards
Asia-Pacific is estimated to lead the distribution panels market owing to factors such as effective smart grid initiatives, high investments in the upgradation of transmission & distribution infrastructure, energy efficiency measures, and renewable projects, increased electrification rates, urbanization, and industrialization, which propel the demand for electrical distribution boards. China dominated the global market in 2015, on account of extensive upgradation of electrical infrastructure and installation of new transmission & distribution lines. China and India are estimated to be the fastest-growing markets for distribution panel boards in the region from 2016 to 2021.
Transmission & distribution utilities the key end-user of distribution boards
The end-user of electrical distribution boards are transmission & distribution utilities, manufacturing & processing industry, commercial & residential sector, and others, which include marine, transportation (rail traction systems, ports, and airports), mining, and offshore applications.
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Distribution boards primarily find application in transmission & distribution utilities. In 2015, transmission & distribution utilities constituted the largest segment of the distribution boards market, and accounted for the largest share of the total market. Substations are a crucial element of any grid system, and require high-level protection to ensure the stability of the system. Distribution boards are used extensively by utilities to prevent damages to expensive and critical equipment.
The increasing electricity access across the world would result in an increase in the number of substations, which would in turn, raise the demand for distribution boards. The transmission & distribution infrastructure in developed economies in North America and Europe is aging and outdated. These economies are modernizing their grids and replacing old installations. Investments in offshore wind farms, which increase their capacity, are also expected to drive the market.
Growing inclination towards medium voltage distribution boards
The distribution boards segments on the basis of rated voltage into low voltage and medium voltage. Medium voltage distribution boards have received widespread acceptance in the past few years. The increasing investments in transmission & distribution infrastructure and in renewable power plants will likely provide a major boost to the market. The medium voltage distribution boards market is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. However, the demand for low voltage distribution panels is also set to increase rapidly, given the increasing access to electricity in countries such as India, South Africa, and Nigeria.
The ecosystem of the distribution boards market is often categorized into in-house and outsourced tasks. In-house activities mainly focus on critical aspects and components of a product, while the required auxiliary parts are usually outsourced. The basic components of the power distribution board are manufactured during this stage; these include the contacts and the tripping mechanism. The components are then assembled according to the required specification during the assembly stage. All parts are configured before the final packaging of the product. The product is introduced in the market through the process of distribution, marketing, and sales.
The original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of distribution boards include ABB Ltd. (Switzerland), Eaton Corporation (Ireland), General Electric (U.S.), Schneider Electric SE (France), and Siemens AG (Germany).