Drone Surveillance Market - Snapshot

Drones are unmanned aircraft. They are formally known as unmanned aircraft system (UAS) or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). They can also be called flying robots. Drones can fly autonomously or can be remotely controlled. Drone surveillance services refer to the different types of work that drones carry out for companies in the energy industry. The type of work primarily refers to monitoring and surveillance of energy industry assets such as pipelines, power plants, wind turbines, platforms, and solar panels. 

Need to Monitor Energy Industry Assets in Safe Manner Driving Market Growth 

Energy industry consists of various types of assets such as wind turbines, solar panels, oil and gas distribution pipelines, power plants, associated distribution lines, ports, onshore and offshore platforms, and mines. It is important to monitor and inspect these on a regular basis to keep them in a good working condition. Carrying out this task manually is time consuming. Drones can significantly lower the time taken to carry out the tasks mentioned above. Furthermore, energy industry assets are often located in remote areas such as forests or in difficult terrains such as mountains. They can also be located in hard-to-reach areas such as offshore. This makes it difficult for employees to monitor them and gather data. It can even put employees at the risk of their lives. Data collected in such an uncomfortable manner can also be erroneous. Drones eliminate the dangerous element from the task of monitoring assets and collecting data. The ability to fly drones around assets also improves data collection accuracy. A drone operator can focus exclusively on data collection rather than expend time and energy worrying about health and safety. These advantages of drones have further endeared them to the energy industry. 

drone surveillance market

Lack of Regulations Holding Back Growth and Putting Downward Pressure on Prices 

Drone-related regulations are still to come into effect in several countries such as India. However, companies have already started offering their services to clients. Such an unregulated environment does not inspire confidence in potential clients. It also hampers the development of new applications of drones. Lack of regulations has been an important reason for the development of a niche market segment related to individuals providing drone surveillance services, instead of companies. The number of such pilots is rising. This has resulted in intense competition between the two types of service providers, leading to considerable pressure on the charges that can be quoted to clients for monitoring and data analysis work. However, lowering of charges is not the only concern that the situation has generated. The capability of pilots and quality of analysis are also causes of concern. Regulations are needed to ensure that the lack of quality work by individual drone pilots does not erode the positive sentiment in the entire drone surveillance market for the energy industry. 

Automation, Analytics, and Monitoring of Pipelines in Power Generation, and Oil & Gas Industry Provide Significant Opportunities 

Majority of drone surveillance companies can provide comprehensive asset monitoring and data collection services. However, these companies need to have separate software and skillsets for data analysis. In the long term, companies in the energy industry can be expected to develop their own teams of drones and drone pilots. However, companies are unlikely to develop the necessary analytical software to analyze the collected data. The ability to provide specific services under analytics, predictions, and forecast is projected to be the major differentiator among drone surveillance companies. Similarly, automation of data collection and analysis is likely to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and go a long way in helping companies outperform competitors.

Drones are generally flown high in the air. They are equipped with advanced sensors, cameras, and other gadgets to perform the necessary functions. Maneuvering drones in open air spaces is relatively easier compared to doing the same in closed spaces. Essentially, it is easier to monitor visible assets with drones rather than those located in enclosed spaces such as inside offshore platforms. It is also easier to maintain high speed and accuracy of data collection when drones are operating in an open space environment. Thus, drones are extensively used to monitor pipelines in power generation and oil & gas industries. 

Organic Expansion, Accreditations, Funding, Data Analysis Software Development, and New Application of Drone Surveillance Services Encouraging Market Players 

Drone surveillance service providers are adopting various methods to garner new clients and consolidate their position in the market. These methods primarily revolve around gaining private funding, government accreditations, further improving data analysis software, and developing new revenue streams. For instance, Cyberhawk Innovations Limited signed a three-year framework agreement with Dubai Petroleum for UAV inspections at all of its offshore assets. ING Robotic Aviation Inc. became the first company to conduct routine BVLOS operation from a major international airport in the Caribbean. HEMAV Technology S.L. has raised nearly US$ 4 Mn in crowdfunding so far. 

Multirotor Drones are Commonly Used, and Pipeline Monitoring & Inspection is Common Application of Drone Surveillance Service Providers 

In terms of the type, multirotor was the dominant segment of the market in 2017. Multirotor drones offer higher level of maneuverability. This is the major advantage of this type of drones. In terms of application, pipeline monitoring & inspection was the prominent segment in 2017. Pipelines, used to carry oil and gas or electricity, are major assets of the energy industry. They are also relatively easier to monitor. Based on region, Europe held significant share of the global market in 2017. The region possesses a wide range of relevant assets, ranging from wind turbines and solar panels to traditional pipelines. These are monitored using drones. 

Highly Fragmented Market, Consolidation Not Expected in Near Future

More than 200 companies operate in the drone surveillance market for the energy industry. This number has been increasing at a rapid pace. Companies are striving to increase their client base, primarily by expanding their geographic reach. Key players operating in the market include Aerodyne Group, Azure Drones SAS, Cyberhawk Innovations Limited, Martek Aviation, and Sharper Shape Inc.

Drone Surveillance Market - Overview

Drones are unmanned aircraft that are formally known as unmanned aircraft system (UAS) or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). They can also be called flying robots. Drones can be flown autonomously or can be remotely controlled. Drone surveillance services refer to the different types of work that drones can carry out for companies in the energy industry. Drone surveillance services are usually performed by drone surveillance service providers, which is a different set of companies from those in the energy industry. The type of work primarily refers to monitoring and surveillance of assets in the energy industry such as pipelines, power plants, wind turbines, platforms, and solar panels.

This report analyzes and forecasts the drone surveillance market for the energy industry at the global and regional level. The market has been forecast based on revenue (US$ Mn) from 2018 to 2026, considering 2017 as the base year. The study includes drivers and restraints of the global drone surveillance market for the energy industry. It also covers impact of these drivers and restraints on demand for the drone surveillance market for the energy industry during the forecast period. The report also highlights opportunities in the drone surveillance market for the energy industry at the global and regional level.

The report includes detailed value chain analysis, which provides a comprehensive view of the global drone surveillance market for the energy industry. Porter’s Five Forces model for the drone surveillance market for the energy industry has also been included to help understand the competitive landscape in the market. The study encompasses market attractiveness analysis, wherein types and applications are benchmarked based on their market size, growth rate, and general attractiveness.

The study provides a decisive view of the global drone surveillance market for the energy industry by segmenting it in terms of type, application, and region. In terms of type, the drone surveillance market for the energy industry has been classified into multirotor, fixed wing, and hybrid. Based on application, the market has been divided into pipeline monitoring & inspection, offshore platform inspection, power plant inspection, inspection of power distribution lines, wind turbine inspection, solar panel inspection, and others. These segments have been analyzed based on present and future trends. Regional segmentation includes current and forecast demand for drone surveillance for the energy industry in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa.

The report provides the actual market size of drone surveillance for energy industry for 2017 and estimated market size for 2018 with forecast for the next eight years. Market numbers have been estimated based on type and application of drone surveillance for the energy industry. Market size has been provided in terms of global, regional, and country level markets.

The report comprises profiles of major companies operating in the global drone surveillance market for the energy industry. Key players operating in the drone surveillance market for the energy industry are Aerodyne Group, Azure Drones SAS, Cyberhawk Innovations Limited, and Martek Aviation. Market players have been profiled in terms of attributes such as company overview, financial overview, business strategies, and recent developments.

The global drone surveillance market for the energy industry has been segmented as follows: 

Drone Surveillance Market for Energy Industry, by Type

  • Multirotor
  • Fixed Wing
  • Hybrid 

Drone Surveillance Market for Energy Industry, by Application

  • Pipeline Monitoring & Inspection
  • Offshore Platform Inspection
  • Power Plant Inspection
  • Inspection of Power Distribution Lines
  • Wind Turbine Inspection
  • Solar Panel Inspection
  • Others (Slope Stability, Emission Tracing, Monitoring Sea Ice, etc.) 

Drone Surveillance Market for Energy Industry, by Region

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • U.K.
    • France
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Russia & CIS
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • ASEAN
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa (MEA)
    • GCC
    • South Africa 
  • Rest of Middle East & Africa 

Key Takeaways

  • In terms of type, the multirotor segment holds major share vis-à-vis other segments. The use of multirotor drones is driven by the several advantages these provide over fixed wing and hybrid drones.
  • In terms of application, the inspection of power distribution lines segment accounts for higher share than other segments. However, it has marginal edge over the pipeline monitoring & inspection segment. Offshore platform inspection is another common application of drone surveillance.
  • In terms of region, Europe constitutes prominent of the market. It is among the early adopters of the technology.
  • The fees charged to the client are currently under pressure due to intense competition between drone surveillance providers and individual drone pilots
  • The global drone surveillance market for the energy industry is likely to expand at a significant pace, largely because it is at the nascent stage
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