Regulatory enforcement to fuel growth in air pollution monitoring equipment markets

The implementation across Europe of the IPPC Directive is expected to cover a wide number of processes, and to be broader in application compared to existing national regulations which it has already begun to displace. This is expected to be one of the main drivers in the APM (air pollution monitoring) equipment market across Europe, according to a new study by Frost & Sullivan, the international marketing consulting company.

The European market for APM equipment is characterised by moderate growth – the effect of maturing markets and the limited number of applications requiring air pollution monitoring equipment – with revenues rising from US$263.2m in 1998 to US$300.2m by 2005.

A number of measures have already been implemented in order to comply with existing and future regulations. To these will be added a new, “cold-start” emissions test for vehicles, to be introduced in 2002. These measures are expected to provide a furure stimulus to demand in the market.

Meanwhile, stack APM equipment accounts for the next highest share, although this is expected to exhibit the greatest overall decline as European markets reach maturation. Growth in the market for stack APM includes the implementation of the European IPPC and LCP Directive and the increasing application of pollution regulations to smaller industrial plants.

Limits and control

Waste incineration plants are potentially one of the most polluting types of thermal power plants in existence. However, tough regulations concerning emission limits and control are already in place. In order to comply with these regulations, all waste-to-energy plants need to be equipped with stack emission monitoring devices. However, anticipated growth in the number of such plants is predicted to drive growth in the European stack emission monitoring market.

Germany represents the largest and most mature geographic region in the European APM equipment market, although high levels of saturation are expected to restrain future growth. In second position is the UK, followed by France and Italy.

To a great extent, differences between the regional markets arise because of the timing and level of EU Directive (as well as national regulation) implementation. For example, Germany and the Netherlands are amongst the first countries to have implemented air pollution regulations, while the Southern European countries (e.g. Spain, Portugal, Greece) and Belgium have been amongst the last.

The ongoing expansion of the waste-to-energy industry; tightening legislation concerning vehicle emissions; and emerging legislation concerning new vehicle emissions are further factors contributing to overall growth in the European air pollution monitoring market. According to the report, however, as the degree of competitiveness increases, markets are becoming more and more concentrated, with older, more established companies enjoying the lion’s share, making penetration more difficult for smaller firms.

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