More than 100 New HVDC Electricity Transmission Lines to be Built

March 02, 2014 by Jeff Shepard

Although ac lines have been the dominant form of electricity transmission for decades, the adoption of high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission is growing worldwide. Up to twice as efficient as traditional ac transmission, HVDC allows interconnection of regional systems that operate asynchronously, helping to mitigate instability issues that otherwise cause outages in ac transmission. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, 110 new HVDC lines are planned or are currently under construction and will be completed worldwide by 2020.

“Growth in electricity demand, transmission system congestion, and grid instability are all helping drive new demand for HVDC transmission systems,” says Kristoffer Torvik, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Approximately 333 gigawatts (GW) of new HVDC transmission capacity will be added between 2013 and 2020, including nearly 200 GW in China alone.”

Helping to drive the expansion of this market is the increasing need for integration of new renewable resources, particularly offshore wind power. Several governments in Europe have established frameworks and even stipulated offshore wind targets. In turn, utilities are implementing aggressive plans for offshore wind development, creating a market demand for advanced, offshore HVDC solutions.

The report, “High-Voltage Direct Current Transmission Systems”, analyzes the global market for HVDC technologies, and provides an analysis of the market issues, including trends, drivers, challenges, opportunities, and regulatory factors, related to HVDC systems. An inventory of HVDC lines in construction or planned is used as a basis for the global capacity and revenue forecasts, which are segmented by converter type and region and extend through 2020.