The European smart grid advanced components market is being driven by the increase in offshore wind farms, according to a news analysis from Frost & Sullivan.
High-voltage direct current (HVDC) is the only viable technology for offshore wind farms, as electric power transmitted through underwater cables is not possible with alternating current. HVDC has potential benefits for the emerging super grid, as it can mitigate the effects of intermittency by averaging the outputs of wind and solar farms.
‘European Smart Grid Market – Advanced Component’ finds that the HVDC market earned revenues of 550 million euros in 2008 and estimates this to reach 973.7 million euros in 2015. Project cost estimates are inclusive of cable, cable installation, converter, station construction, management and technical support and risk insurance.
‘The rise in offshore wind and solar farms has resulted in the logical move of opting for HVDC for electrical power transmission, which is set to become the norm,’ says Vikas Ravindran, senior research analyst at Frost & Sullivan.
HVDC technology has been in use for more than three decades, and is primarily used for bulk-power transmission. When used for long-distance power transmission, HVDC has been less expensive and has lower electrical losses compared to AC. The European electricity market is moving toward homogeneity of its electricity networks with the announcement of 28 projects, out of which 16 are complete.
However, problems such as the high cost of technology and the inability to be used for shorter distances are retarding the growth of HVDC. Government intervention plays a major role in determining the success of an HVDC project concerning smooth electricity trade-off between any two regions.
SOURCE: Frost & Sullivan