Superconductors: Technologies and Global Markets

Published - Sep 2010| Analyst - Andrew McWilliams| Code - AVM066B
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Report Highlights

  • The global market for superconductivity applications was worth an estimated $1.7 billion in 2009, a figure that is expected to reach nearly $2 billion in 2010 and nearly $3.4 billion in 2015, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.3% over the next 5 years.
  • Superconducting magnets, particularly those used in science, research and technology development, and healthcare applications dominate the market. This sector is estimated at $1.9 billion in 2010 and is expected to be worth nearly $2.4 billion in 2015, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.2%.
  • Superconducting electrical equipment (e.g., transformers, generators, motors, fault current limiters, power storage, cable) is expected to capture nearly 25% of the market by 2015. This sector is estimated at $23 million in 2010 and is expected to reach $889 million in 2015, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 107%.

INTRODUCTION

STUDY BACKGROUND

Superconductivity is a unique and powerful tool in scientific research that has led to important strides in healthcare such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Other superconducting technologies on the cusp of commercialization will increase the efficiency with which electricity is produced and used, which will indirectly benefit the environment. In the future, superconducting technologies may be used to predict earthquakes, map the magnetic fields produced by the brain, and produce ultra-high performance computers. These are only a few examples of the wide range of superconductivity technologies and applications analyzed in this report.

This report is an updated version of an earlier BCC report published in 2008.

STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

The overall goal of this report is to provide an up-to-date understanding of the developing market for superconducting applications, materials, and other enabling technologies. Specific objectives include:

  • Identifying superconducting applications with the greatest commercial potential in the near to midterm (2009 to 2015) 
  • Analyzing the key drivers and constraints that will shape the market for these superconducting applications as the basis for projecting demand over the next 5 years 
  • Estimating current and future consumption of superconducting materials and other key enabling technologies 
  • Identifying the companies that are best positioned to meet this demand because of their proprietary technologies, strategic alliances, or other advantages.

INTENDED AUDIENCE

This report is intended for marketing executives, entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists, and other readers with a need to know where the superconductivity field is headed over the next 5 to 10 years. Other readers who should find the report particularly valuable include government officials associated with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and other national and state-level programs charged with advancing the development of the nanotechnology industry.

Although the report addresses specific superconductivity technologies and materials, it is generally non-technical in nature and coverage. Thus, it is less concerned with theory and jargon than with identifying the developments that work, assessing the amount of technologies the market is likely to purchase, and projecting the price of such technologies. Although the report is not written specifically for scientists and technologists, many of these professionals will be interested in its findings concerning the market for their work, including the availability of government and corporate research funding for different technologies and applications.

SCOPE OF REPORT

The report addresses trends in superconductivity technology and the global market for superconductivity applications during the period from 2009 through 2015, including:

  • Science, research, and technology development
  • Healthcare
  • Electric utilities
  • Computing
  • Transportation
  • Communications
  • Military/defense
  • Other applications
  • The study format includes the following major elements:
  • Executive summary
  • Overview (i.e., definitions, brief history, superconductivity characteristics, market summary)
  • Developments in superconducting technology that are expected to influence the market through 2015
  • Detailed market estimates and projections for each technology, application, and end use during the period from 2009 to 2015
  • General assessment of expected technological and market trends in the longer term
  • Description of key players in the emerging superconductivity industry

INFORMATION SOURCES AND METHODOLOGY

The findings and conclusions presented in this report are based on information gathered from primary sources within the industry, including vendors and users of superconductivity products. Interview data were combined with information gathered through an extensive review of secondary sources such as trade publications, trade associations, company literature, and online databases to produce the market projections contained in this report.

The base year for analysis and projection is 2009. With 2009 as a baseline, market projections were developed for 2010 to 2015. These projections are based on a combination of a consensus among the primary contacts and our understanding of the key market drivers and their impact from a historical and analytical perspective.

The analytical methodologies used to generate the market estimates are described in detail in the section on “Detailed Market Projections.” The documentation is intended to enable the reader to evaluate the projections, and if desired, substitute alternative assumptions.

All dollar projections presented in this report are in 2009 constant dollars unless otherwise noted.

ANALYST CREDENTIALS

Andrew McWilliams, the author of this report, is a partner in 43rd Parallel, LLC, a Boston-based international technology and marketing consulting firm. He is the author of the previous edition of this report, as well as a number of other BCC Research market opportunity studies on advanced materials topics, including

  • AVM025G Diamond, Diamond-Like and CBN Films and Coating Products
  • AVM015E High-performance Ceramic Coatings: Markets and Technologies
  • AVM038C Advanced Structural Carbon Products: Fibers, Foams & Composites
  • AVM067A Metamaterials: Technologies and Global Markets
  • AVM064A Geosynthetics: Materials, Applications, and Markets
  • EGY053B Advanced Materials and Devices for Renewable Energy
  • IAS029A Terahertz Radiation Systems: Technologies and Global Markets
  • EGY065A Enabling Technologies for the Smart Grid
  • NAN021D Nanocomposites, Nanoparticles, Nanoclays, and Nanotubes 

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DISCLAIMER

The information developed in this report is intended to be as reliable as possible at the time of publication and of a professional nature. This information does not constitute managerial, legal, or accounting advice; nor should it serve as a corporate policy guide, laboratory manual, or an endorsement of any product, as much of the information is speculative in nature. The author assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or its use.

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Published - Sep-2008| Analyst - Andrew McWilliams| Code - AVM066A

Report Highlights

This Report:

  • The global market for superconductivity applications was worth $1.4 billion in 2007, a figure that is expected to increase slightly in 2008 but reach $2.7 billion in 2013, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.9%.
  • Superconducting magnets dominate the market, generating an estimated $1.4 billion in 2008. This should reach $1.7 billion in 2013, for a CAGR of 4.4%.
  • Superconducting electrical equipment has the second largest market share, worth $19.5 million in 2007 and an estimated $20.5 in 2008. This should increase at a CAGR of 213.3% to reach $905.9 million in 2013.
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