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The Race for Batteries

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Global Revenues for Power Back-up Spike as World Uneasy About Electricity

April 4th 2011

Energy Topics - Battery

Global revenues for UPS sales pass $7 billion Data from market analyst, IMS Research, shows the global market for Uninterruptable Power Supplies (UPS) grew twice as fast in the second half of 2010 compared with the first half of that year. The growth helped to push the total annual value past $7 billion. IMS Research predicts demand for UPS to return to pre-recessionary levels by 2012. 

The global UPS market continues to recover swiftly from the economic downturn with revenues in Q4 2010 being 10.8% higher than the same period in 2009.

Jason dePreaux, a Senior Analyst with IMS Research, is cautiously optimistic that a sustained recovery has taken hold. “Spending on critical power upgrades such as UPS has come back, notably in the small and medium business segment where power requirements are lower and projects are less capital intensive,” said dePreaux. “Big data-center jobs also appear to be coming back; though this sector is highly dependent on the availability of credit to move forward with major upgrades or new construction.”

At its peak in 2008, sales of UPS earned suppliers over $8 billion, half of which went to industry heavyweights Schneider Electric, Eaton, and Emerson Network Power. IMS Research’s projections for key markets suggest that the industry will be back to a 2008-like clip by 2012, in part because of the developing markets in the “BRIC” nations of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

As market conditions improve, dePreaux noted some of the challenges the industry will face this year. “UPS vendors will have to skillfully manage shortages of critical components like IGBTs. In addition, rising raw material and labor costs in Asia are squeezing margins and forcing price hikes to be made, though suppliers so far are reluctant to introduce steep increases on a still wary market,” suggested dePreaux

IMS Research’s recent study of the market has also revealed: Revenues are growing fastest in Asia, at an annualized rate of 15-20 percent. Sales of large three-phase UPS for enterprise data-centers spiked in Q4 2010. After-sales UPS service was worth an additional $2.5 billion in 2010.

Paul Buckley writes for EE Times Europe, from where this article is adapted.

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