The Global Transmission & Distribution Investment Cycle by Steve Aubertin
Global investment in transmission and distribution systems in 2019 was a little over $240 billion and by 2020 will have reached $250 billion. Estimated compound annual growth over the next 10 year period is expected to be 4.15% meaning that investment by 2030 will be some $386 billion (measured in 2019 US$). Total investment between 2020 and 2030 will be on the order of US$3.5 trillion and between 2030 and 2040 will total $4.7 trillion. These sums are so large as to equal to the entire GDP of Germany but growth will not be evenly distributed across the globe. Rather, the drivers in each region will vary according to local development cycles and grid development, enhancement, reinforcement, changes in generating facilities and new interconnections. Who will fund that investment is a major question. Among the most important aspects for the future will be how T&D development is organized and how investment spikes are smoothed out in order to provide a continuous stream of business for the manufacturing sector. The number of companies capable of supplying the equipment necessary to support future growth in the power industry has been declining for decades. The demand and supply equation will therefore have to be carefully managed to ensure future security of electricity supply. This presentation examines these types of issues.