Turning on switchgear market

“The next 10 years will be crucial for the Indian electrical equipment industry as it gears up to meet the rapidly rising domestic demand,” predicts Sandeep Selot, Director, Marketing and Strategy – Energy Business, Schneider Electric India
 The Indian switchgear market, which has an important presence in the global electrical equipment arena, has reported a stupendous CAGR of 21.6 per cent during FY 08 to FY 13. In an interview with EPR, Sandeep Selot shares the future of switchgear market and how Schneider Electric is going to influence the market with its switchgear products.
Key market trendsIndia is witnessing increased investments in the manufacturing segment as well as urban and rural infrastructure development all over the country. The government as well as the power ministry are planning extensive power enhancement and improvement of electrical grid networks to support this growth. The need to have a safe, reliable and efficient power distribution setup at both micro and macro levels is providing growth opportunities to the low-voltage (LV) and medium-voltage (MV) switchgear markets in India.
Driving factorsThe nation’s developing infrastructure across various sectors including residential, commercial and transport has been the prime factor that has resulted growth in the demand for switchgears in India. Development in oil and gas, petrochemicals, steel, concrete and telecom has given a huge stimulus to the development of this business, especially in high-voltage section.
The Indian switchgear market can be segregated into three categories on the basis of voltage: low-voltage switchgears, medium-voltage switchgears and high-voltage switchgears. The market contribution of low-voltage switchgears has displayed a remarkable traction, surging from 31.7 per cent in FY 08 to 55.3 per cent in FY 13. This progressive increase in the market share of low-voltage switchgears has been largely attributed to increased urbanisation, construction of new residential households and commercial areas taking place in the country, coupled with the growing concerns for safety and security with respect to the electric equipment. In fact, the low-voltage switchgears represent more than 55 per cent of the aggregate market share, and the share is expected to expand in the impending years.
Keeping in mind the growth parameters and the requirements of the industry, Schneider Electric has come up with smart-grid ready MV switchgear with a highly modular design to facilitate easy installation, upgrading and maintenance. Premset switchgear also uses the Shielded Solid Insulation System (2SIS), a breakthrough innovation that protects switchgears’ live parts to help ensure a safe, trouble-free service life for both operator and equipment. With its 3-in-1 design, Premset switchgear is the most reliable, compact, safest and most intuitive in its class. Using Premset switchgear enables simplifying network upgrades because the same auxiliaries, accessories and monitoring devices can continue being used for the entire range. In fact, this “plug-and-play” design also allows for on-site additions that do not require any special training, tools or adjustments.
Market opportunitiesThe biggest opportunity for the switchgear industry comes from the upcoming power generation capacity. Power generation capacity is expected to be augmented by around 150,000 MW in the coming time. Expansion of key industry sector (cement steel petrochemicals, telecom and others) and expansion of other infrastructure segments like telecom, railways, airports, ports, roads and hospitals are also key opportunities for the switchgear industry.
Challenges to market growth The technical and non-technical losses in the energy value chain are still high. We still have high peak deficit of power, and large section of our citizens have no access to electrical energy. There is also a need to work on the last mile connectivity to consumers. Today investments are being made to strengthen the MV network under government sponsored RAPDRP programme. However, the technology adaptation for last mile connectivity is far behind as compared globally. The overhead infrastructure for rural and semi urban areas still needs strengthening.
Outlook for 2016The next 10 years will be crucial for the Indian electrical equipment industry as it gears up to meet the rapidly rising domestic demand. The industry also establishes its presence as an important player in the global electrical equipment arena. The Indian switchgear market has reported a stupendous CAGR of 21.6 per cent during FY 08 to FY 13. In FY 13, the switchgear market in India grew by 27.3 per cent compared to 48.2 per cent growth in FY 12. The high growth in FY 12 was significantly attributed to the increased demand for energy-generation equipment which resulted in increased sales of high- and medium-voltage switchgears in India.

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