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Building Automation; Need of the Hour in India

Rapid industrialization, a significant shift of rural population to urban areas, growth in population, and the middle class’ aspiration towards a better life style are some of the key factors exhibiting immense pressure on India’s limited energy resources. (The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts India’s energy demand to more than double by 2030, creating significant challenges for the country).

Amid a growing national concern about climate change and rising oil imports, the need as well as interest in implementing energy efficiency initiatives is being seen across India’s government, business, and investment sectors. The immense pressure on thin energy resources coupled with India’s sharp focus on growth through sustainable development is leading to an upsurge in the construction of Green and Smart buildings, thus driving the Building Automation Market.

Also, favorable government policies which have been providing the much needed impetus have led to the emergence of new domestic and international energy efficiency companies inclined to serve this market. Siemens, Johnson Controls, Schneider Electric and Honeywell are the leading system integrators & solution providers of building automation & control systems in India. Other regional and emerging market competitors who are capitalizing on the immense growth potential in this market include Chint, Weg, Larsen & Toubro and Delta. Another significant trend which highlights the immense growth potential of the building automation market is the emergence of Energy Service Companies (ESCOs), which have started focusing on providing energy efficiency implementation solutions, including financial assistance to the buildings through various funding models.

 

Building Automation – What it Entails

Building Automation refers to the provision of comfort and energy efficiency in residential as well as non-residential buildings through automation and security systems. It plays a key role in efficient operation of buildings. Besides ensuring cost optimization, operational efficiency, comfort and security, it gives the operator an effective platform for energy optimization. Technically put, Building Automation Systems (BAS) are centralized, connected networks of hardware and software, which monitor and control the environment in various residential and commercial facilities. Across most of the buildings, automation begins with the control of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.

Some of the key areas where building automation systems are applied include Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC), Lighting Systems & Control, Construction Materials, Building Facades, Paints, Insulation, provision for waste management and water and waste recycling. 

It’s important to understand that an efficient building automation system ensures a centralized intelligent energy management system, with the interoperability of all system components and processes delivering significant cost and energy savings. As mentioned earlier, automation in buildings provides multiple benefits such as conservation of energy resources and lower CO2 emissions. The integrated energy management systems that form a core part of building automation ensure continuous energy monitoring and optimization of a building.

 

The India Opportunity

Increasing smart homes and buildings with well-integrated and applied technologies are key to the realization of the much talked about concept of Smart Cities.

India has emerged as one of the major building automation & control system markets, exhibiting double digit growth. A recently published TechSci Research report “India Building Automation & Control Systems Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2019”, shows a very bright future for companies operating across the entire building automation value chain. The report estimates the Indian building automation & control systems market to grow by three folds, in revenue terms, by 2019, registering a strong CAGR of around 21.7% during 2014-19.

 

Key Drivers for Building Automation

§  Energy security and water scarcity are national priorities which are increasingly gaining momentum - the recent government thrust on “smart cities” is expected to provide the much needed impetus

§  Rapid industrial growth and urbanization are causing immense challenges. Rising demand and supply gap in energy, shortage of water, and inefficient waste management techniques are further hindering India’s path towards a green and sustainable future - this is drawing urgent attention from government as well as private players

§  The Kyoto Protocol's recommendation of measures to contain emissions paves the way for automated buildings to improve energy efficiency

§  India is blessed with plenty of untapped renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, biomass and water – this provides a strong business opportunity to players across the value chain – domestics as well as international

§  Rising costs of conventional/traditional energy sources with depleting fossil fuel reserves

§  Increased investments as well as incentives by global corporations and a global consensus on reducing climate change risks offer new business opportunities

§  Growth in Green and Smart Buildings and evolving consumer and government requirements for a green future are driving Building Automation and Control Systems Market

 

Key Challenges for Building Automation

The key inhibitor to growth is the high initial investment required for well-integrated smart technologies. One of the significant roadblocks remains the perception of value versus the cost issue, which is significantly affecting the adoption rates.

Despite the challenges associated with requirement for high initial investments, the gradual but impressive emergence and adoption of green & smart building concept is being hailed both by the commercial and the residential segment, and is expected to lead to a strong growth of the building automation market in India over the next five years.  We believe that the building automation segment will continue to grow at a fast pace on the back of rising demand for energy-efficient solutions from the industrial, commercial, and government sectors; consistent pressures to reduce operational costs; and the increasing importance placed by organizations across the globe as well as India’s government, on energy efficiency.

 

Author: Viniti Mohan, Director - Cognitive Corporate Solutions

 

 

 

 

     
2015/01/30 by Bharat Vasandani