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Spending on Transmission for Renewable Integration to Reach $46.7 Billion in 2025

Feb. 7, 2017
The nature of a country’s existing power system and regulatory framework will influence infrastructure investment choices, report finds.

In the face of growing global demand for electricity and intensifying pressure to curtail greenhouse gas emissions, the development of renewable energy resources is on the rise worldwide. As countries with mature power sectors shift toward a more renewables-heavy generation mix, and those with emerging power sectors build out their grids to accommodate new renewable capacity, demand for transmission system technologies required to integrate renewables is also increasing.  According to a new report from Navigant, global spending on large-scale transmission system infrastructure for renewable energy integration is expected to grow from $36.7 billion in 2016 to $46.7 billion in 2025.

“Rapid development of wind and solar resources is driving investment in transmission systems around the world,” says Jessica Lewis, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “This is true in countries with mature power sectors that are shifting to a more renewable-heavy generation mix, and also in countries with emerging power sectors that are building out their grids to meet rising demand.”

When planning transmission system extensions triggered by new renewable capacity, factors to take into consideration include generation type (e.g., wind, offshore wind, or solar), plant size, and distance from the grid. In addition, the nature of the existing power system, combined with the local regulatory environment, is expected to influence the type of infrastructure investment different countries make to accommodate new renewable generation in the years ahead, according to the report.

The report, Transmission System Upgrades for Renewable Energy Integration, examines the market for transmission system technologies required to integrate large-scale renewable energy generation. The primary technology segments analyzed are high-voltage alternating current (HVAC) transmission systems, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission systems, and utility-scale energy storage systems (ESSs). These segments are further examined by equipment subcategory. HVAC equipment subcategories include substations, transmission lines, and flexible alternating current transmission systems (FACTS). HVDC equipment subcategories include converter stations and transmission lines. Global market forecasts of renewable energy capacity additions and revenue extend through 2025 and are also presented by region and generation type.

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