Low Voltage Cable Market size is poised to grow significantly over 2021-2027, owing to the rising population levels in urban areas, alongside distribution network expansion to enhance the rate of rural electrification. Low voltage power cables, also known as LV cables, are used for electricity transmission between electrical equipment with a 50-100V AC voltage range, and 75-1500V DC voltage range, for applications that are not subject to high electrical stress.
The burgeoning interest in renewable energy is a major trend propelling low voltage cable market outlook. According to the estimates from International Renewable Energy Agency, over 260 GW of renewable energy capacity was added worldwide in 2020, exceeding 2019 expansion levels by almost 50%. This rate of installation is expected to bolster demand for low voltage power cables, since the products are used extensively in renewable applications, such as for the powering of essential equipment in wind turbines or interconnections among solar panels. In April 2021, leading electronic wire and cable producer, Remee Wire & Cable introduced a new range of low voltage Renewable Energy Cables, designed to cater to the specific needs of solar and wind energy operations.
Underground cables are set to emerge as a key segment in the low voltage cable industry over 2021-2027, owing to its myriad advantages over its overhead counterparts. There is also an increasing deployment of underground cabling solutions across several developing nations. Underground low voltage cables are used in T&D applications, particularly those where overhead installations are impractical, such as around substations and plants or wide water body crossings.
The APAC low voltage cable industry is projected to gain traction in recent years, owing to growing energy demand from developing economies such as India and China. According to IEA’s ‘Electricity Market Report’, China, alongside India is set to lead the growth in worldwide electricity demand in 2021, albeit with a relatively slower recovery in consumption levels.
Prominent players manufacturing low voltage cables include NKT Cables (formerly NKT Holding A/S), Bahra Advanced Cable Manufacture, Marmon Engineered Wire & Cable, ABB, Nexans S.A., Sumitomo Electric, Polycab Wires Pvt. Ltd., General Cable Corporation, Encore Wire Corporation, Prysmian S.P.A, and Finolex Cables Limited. These players are taking various steps including strategic agreements and expansions in order to establish a firm presence in the competitive low voltage cable industry.
For instance, in July 2020, Nexans inked a contract worth around USD 2.54 million with Coptech, for the delivery of 206 km of low voltage and medium voltage fire-retardant power cables for the flue gas desulfurization unit at the 1,560MW Nikola Tesla A coal-fired power facility in Serbia. Meanwhile, NKT and Ellevio entered into a frame agreement to facilitate the timely development and reinforcement of central Sweden’s power grid. The agreement, spanning 4 years, comprises of cables with 1 kV to 36 kV voltage levels, aimed at supporting Ellevio in projects such as replacement of overhead installations with underground power cables, and reinforcement of power grids in urban areas.
In addition to its devastating effect on health across the globe, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has also had a major economic impact. Lockdowns of varying degrees, mass business closures and social distancing mandates have heavily influenced industrial electricity demand in recent months, which could deter low voltage cable installation. The impact was observed to larger extents in developing nations.
In India, for instance, peak power demand was 1.31% lower in FY21 than the previous financial year, even despite some level of recovery from the COVID-induced slowdown in 2020. Furthermore, the second wave of the pandemic and subsequent rise in fresh prescriptions may further pose a risk to recovery of power demand. However, electricity demand may witness some improvement as industries accommodate to the evolving needs during the pandemic, which could in turn stimulate low voltage cable industry trends over the coming years.