The global circuit breakers market size was valued at USD 10.11 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 18.46 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 6.32% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
A circuit breaker is a programmed automatic electric switch that is utilized to protect an electrical circuit from damage by excess current from an overload or short circuit. After a defect is discovered, the primary purpose of circuit breakers is to interrupt current flow. In contrast to a fuse that works only once, a circuit breaker can be replaced to continue the typical activity. The circuit breakers aim to shut down the electric supply in case of excess current, overload, or short circuits. Circuit breakers also play a significant role in electric power distribution and transmission in communication circuits, automobiles, telecommunication, computers, industrial machinery and equipment, consumer electronics, and other applications.
Circuit breakers have a switching mechanism that can be manually operated or automatically triggered by sensors detecting abnormal conditions. Once the fault is resolved or the overload is removed, the circuit breaker can be reset to restore the circuit. Circuit breakers are vital safety devices that help prevent electrical hazards, safeguard electrical equipment, and ensure the dependable operation of electrical systems.
Growing Demand for Electricity and Need for Reliable Power Delivery
In the energy sector, circuit breakers and fuses provide power protection in case of excess power or overload. However, circuit breakers have multiple advantages over fuses, making them a preferred choice. For instance, they respond more rapidly than fuses and are more reliable in providing short-circuit protection. Fuses are used once and replaced; however, a circuit breaker can be reused and comes with the option of repairing, which is one of the key advantages. These factors make them reliable regarding power delivery, reducing the risk of short circuits. Therefore, the increase in electricity demand across the globe is fueling the need for circuit breakers in terms of reliable power delivery.
As per the International Energy Agency (IEA), the global electricity demand 2018 was 24,706 terawatts per hour and is growing significantly globally. Circuit breakers are significantly used in residential, commercial, and industrial applications to protect circuit boards and overall electric setups in homes and industries. The adoption of circuit boards in residential applications is high. However, industrial plants more often use this product where electricity is used at a mass scale to run manufacturing plants and other operations. Therefore, circuit breakers are mandatorily used to provide plant protection to ensure a reliable power supply. They reduce investment costs and offer protection at a relatively lower price.
Increasing Electricity Access Rate Across the Globe
The increase in electricity access rates across the globe has impacted the demand for circuit breakers. As more regions and countries strive to improve their electricity infrastructure and expand access to electricity, the need for reliable and efficient circuit protection becomes crucial. With the rise in electricity access, there is an increased deployment of electrical systems and installations in residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. These systems require adequate protection against overloads and short circuits to ensure people's and equipment's safety.
Additionally, circuit breakers play a vital role by automatically interrupting the electrical current when it exceeds safe limits, thus preventing potential hazards such as electrical fires, appliance damage, and electrical shocks. The growing awareness of electrical safety and regulations, coupled with the increasing demand for reliable power distribution, further drives the market for circuit breakers. Authorities in charge of regulating worldwide are imposing stringent safety standards, mandating the use of circuit breakers in electrical installations.
Safety Regulation Regarding the Product Quality of Circuit Breaker
The Ministry of Power in India and the Central Electricity Authority in other countries released a regulatory draft regarding the use of circuit breakers in 2010. These regulations have comprehensive safety features stating that circuit breakers must be capable of making and breaking the current in all favorable and unfavorable conditions. Moreover, per this regulation, a circuit breaker should be used only in specific voltage ranges. Therefore, this creates an opportunity for small-scale manufacturers to produce high-demand price-sensitive circuit breakers in nations like India and China. China has been increasingly exporting low-quality and low-price circuit breakers to other countries. Therefore, growth in the unorganized sector is slowly posing a threat to this market and is anticipated to further hinder the growth of this market during the forecast period.
Rising Renewable Energy Production
Governments and regulatory organizations worldwide are focusing on producing renewable energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and leverage renewable sources across the globe. From the overall renewable energy produced, a considerable amount is utilized to develop smart cities to increase the electricity access rate. Therefore, an increase in renewable energy generation is anticipated offer growth opportunities. In some geographies, renewable energy is produced as part of legislative activity. Therefore renewable energy goals have emerged as a defining characteristic of the world energy landscape. In 2015, 164 countries across the globe adopted a minimum of one renewable energy target as a part of the legislative approach. Especially in the European Union, 28 member states and eight energy communities have legally bounded to renewable energy targets. Such legislative efforts have promoted cleaner energy sources. Therefore, this creates an opportunity for circuit breakers’ use in smart cities during the forecast period.
The global circuit breakers market is bifurcated into voltage, installation, and applications.
Based on voltage, the global circuit breakers market is bifurcated into high, medium, and low.
The high segment dominates the global market and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 5.21% during the forecast period. Circuit breakers recommended in the high-voltage range or high current applications are considered high-voltage circuit breakers. They are used in industrial applications where a high range of electricity is transmitted and used in manufacturing plants or other operations. High-voltage circuit breakers in electrical grid substations protect and control electrical power transmission networks. Moreover, high-voltage circuit breakers are deployed in substations to protect against overloading, transformer, short circuit, and earth faults. The increase in energy production and the resulting need for energy transmission and distribution are the key factors driving the growth of the high-voltage of market. Furthermore, the rise in the adoption of high-voltage circuit breakers in energy power plants significantly fuels the growth of this segment. Vacuum and air types of circuit breakers are majorly used in high voltage range due to their suitability in the high current range.
Based on the installation, the global circuit breakers market is bifurcated into indoor and outdoor.
The indoor segment is the most significant contributor to the market and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 4.91% during the forecast period. Circuit breakers designed for building use are known as indoor circuit breakers. However, there is no significant difference between indoor and outdoor circuit breakers. Packaging structures and enclosures are the only factors that differ between these two types. In addition, indoor circuit breakers are favorable across various end-use industries, including power plants, substations, and various monitoring use such as chemical plants, steel mills, automation plants, airports, and power supply parts of large buildings. They are installed in switch cabinets to cut off the current in case of overload. Therefore, the residential sector has witnessed increased adoption of indoor circuit breakers. On the contrary, the adoption rate is relatively higher in industrial applications, where the high-power current is transmitted at regular intervals.
Based on the application, the global circuit breakers market is bifurcated into residential, commercial, industrial, and utility.
The residential segment dominates the global market and is predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 4.8% during the forecast period. The residential industry generated the most revenue and is forecasted to continue this trend during the forecast period. This is because the residential sector is the largest circuit breaker consumer, which protects household electrical systems from short circuits and electrical faults. Installing circuit breakers in homes significantly reduces the risk of an electrical fire, which has fueled their adoption in the residential sector. Almost every house with access to electricity is anticipated to use indoor circuit boards. Thus, an increasing rise in population, rise in electricity access rate, and development of the residential sector boost the adoption of circuit breakers across the globe.
Other demographic factors, such as an increase in urbanization, growth in the trend of isolated families, and the introduction of advanced electrical systems equipped with inbuilt circuit breakers, are projected to offer profitable growth opportunities during the forecast period. However, unorganized players are gradually penetrating the residential sector and are targeting price-sensitive economies such as India, China, and Brazil, where the middle-class population prefers low-quality products. The expansion of the circuit breakers industry could be stunted if the current trend persists.
Based on region, the global circuit breakers market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant global market shareholder and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.8% over the forecast period. China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, and the rest of Asia-Pacific are some major revenue contributors in the Asia-Pacific region. The rise in population in emerging economies such as India and China has fueled the electricity demand, which, in turn, has propelled the need for circuit breakers in the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, replacing old grid infrastructure is fueling the growth of the circuit breaker market. International Renewable Energy says Agency China and India are in the top five renewable energy-producing countries across the globe, which further augments the market growth. Moreover, the increase in the interconnection of renewable energy with grid infrastructure is driving the growth of the circuit breaker market in this region.
North America is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 5.9% over the forecast period. North America made up the second-largest portion of the circuit breaker market. The North American circuit breaker market covers key countries such as the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The rise of the market in this region is majorly driven by the increase in electricity consumption across the U.S. and Canada. Moreover, the stringent needs for the operational safety of individuals in various industries fuel the growth of the circuit breaker market in this region. Conventional installations such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas are also decreasing rapidly, which results in increased demand for electricity from renewable energy installations. Furthermore, the increase in the trend for single-use residents and isolated families is leading to new residential construction activities where circuit breakers are installed. Such factors drive regional market growth.
The European region covers major countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the UK, and the rest of Europe. Driving factors of the Europe circuit breaker market include the development of the construction industry, the rise in demand for electricity in developing nations, and the increase in focus on innovations in transmission systems. According to Eurostat, 2017, net electricity generation was 3.10 million gigawatt hours (GWh). In addition, Germany witnesses the highest electricity generation, followed by France and the UK. Owing to the rise in population, the use of circuit breakers has been witnessed across the residential sector, further boosting the growth of the Europe circuit breaker market.
In order to meet the EU’s climate goals, regulation has been implemented on using sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) gas due to its higher global warming potential, which resulted in restraining the growth of the SF6-based circuit breaker market in the European region. However, g3 green gas is a potential opportunity for key players in the EU as a substitute for the SF6 circuit breaker, owing to its environmentally friendly advantages.
In LAMEA, rapid urbanization and industrialization are driving the growth of the circuit breaker market. An increase in investment in power generation projects to expand power infrastructure is expected to boost the market growth in this region further. The introduction of smart or digital circuit breakers in the market with the Internet of Things (IoT) is anticipated to offer a lucrative opportunity for key players to gain a competitive edge. Brazil registered the highest market share and growth in the LAMEA circuit breaker market, owing to healthy trade relations and an increase in demand for electricity, which further augmented the need for electric circuit breakers.
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