ARC study: AC drives market expected to grow

Emphasis on energy, sustainability will help push recovery in market, study finds
By Bob Vavra September 24, 2009

The weakness in the global economy is currently impacting the high power AC drives market, however, to a lesser degree compared to other automation equipment. Stronger growth in the high power AC drives market is expected to resume during the latter part of the five-year forecast period, once economic stability is restored globally, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study.
"While the world economy is in a severely distressed state, new stimulus packages from various governments are adding more investments in the infrastructure industries, including new road construction, water & wastewater, and electric power generating plants. Globalization has also created a large demand for modern infrastructure, especially in emerging economies. This situation bodes well for high power AC drives market growth," according to senior analyst Himanshu Shah , the principal author of ARC’s " High Power AC Drive Worldwide Outlook ".
Sustainability initiatives are driving the use of advanced automation and energy-saving equipment worldwide. This will directly result in an increased use of high power AC drives, which are widely employed across process, discrete, and infrastructure industries such as utilities, water & wastewater, public transportation, and airports.
Energy supply volatility, trends for higher costs of energy, and the effect on the environment have resulted in generous incentives for businesses and consumers to use energy more efficiently. This will accelerate the use of additional high power AC drives, as the resulting energy savings for fan and pump applications are now recognized around the globe. The future energy supply will not be able to keep up with demand; further increasing the use of high power AC drives. Energy volatility and scarcity, as well as sustainable manufacturing, will continue to affect the use of high power AC drives in a wide range of industries.
Once global economic stability is restored, the use of high power AC drives will increase at a faster rate across all industrial segments, including oil & gas, building automation, chemicals, food & beverage, and metals & mining.
Regional scenarios
Asia’s strong demand for energy created turmoil in oil pricing in 2008. Crude oil prices reached nearly $150 per barrel in mid 2008 and were back down to a moderate level in the early part of 2009. The world, however, got a taste of very high oil prices, which increased awareness of the importance of new sources of energy, alternative energies, and energy savings; increasing the demand for high power AC drives. Sustainability is also driving initiatives for energy savings and renewable energy production, supporting the use of high power AC drives.
While every world region will experience growth in the high power AC drives market over the forecast period, there are significantly different factors affecting this market. A brief description regarding the economic scenarios for each major world area is covered in this report.
In addition to the quantitative assessment of the high power AC drive market, the report provides an insightful analysis of the market and strategies of leading suppliers that will impact this business in the future.