In Europe, industrial electric motors are responsible for consuming about 70 per cent of the energy produced, making them one of the most widely used electrical loads across all industries. The overall power consumption by a motor over its lifespan also accounts for about 85 per cent of its lifetime costs. Realising this, end users are looking to reduce energy consumption and operational costs by replacing old motors with more energy-efficient ones. Along with the upcoming Phase 2 of motor energy efficiency regulations (640/2009/EC), these factors are expected to sustain the growth of the Western European electric motors market.
Analysis of the Western European Electric Motors Market by Frost and Sullivan finds that the market earned revenues of $5.16 billion in 2013 and estimates this to reach $5.94 billion in 2017. The research covers fractional horse power and integral horse power (IHP) motors.
The first phase of the EU energy-efficiency directive was implemented in 2011. The second phase, which requires induction motors with a power output range between 7.5kW and 375kW to meet the IE3 standard or alternatively satisfy the IE2 standard and be equipped with a variable frequency drive, is expected to be in place by 2015.
Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation & Process Control Research Analyst Abhinav Nagial says: "This means that end users, who need to replace their old and obsolete motors, will be forced to purchase IE2 or IE3 energy-efficient motors that cost 25 to 37 per cent more than IE1 or less energy-efficient motors. While the sales of higher priced IE3 class induction motors are expected to boost revenues, the economic scenario might dampen market potential."
The recent economic downturn and the ongoing debt crisis across European economies have slowed down industrial activity. Stagnation in large commercial mining, construction, ship building, chemical and petrochemicals projects have especially decreased the demand for medium-voltage IHP motors. Although the steps taken by the EU to tackle the debt crisis are encouraging recovery, it is unequal across different countries in Western Europe.
Another challenge for the region's electric motors market is the lack of funding from private and public institutions, as key end-user segments including chemical, petrochemical, oil and gas and process industries depend on credit availability for implementing new projects. End users in Italy and Spain are particularly reluctant to invest as they face high unemployment rates and political uncertainty.
Nagial continues: "Given these challenges, manufacturers of electric motors should charge competitive prices and offer value-added services to differentiate themselves from the competition. Strategic pricing of higher-efficiency motors will be especially important to succeed in the Western European marketplace."
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