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Drone Surveillance Market for Energy & Power Size, Share & COVID-19 Impact Analysis, By Type (Multirotor, Fixed Wing, and Hybrid), By Application (Pipeline Monitoring and Inspection, Offshore Platform Inspection, Wind Turbine Inspection, Power Plant Inspection, Solar Panel Inspection, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Region : Global | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI100511



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The global drone surveillance market for energy & power size was USD 118.8 million in 2020 and is projected to grow from USD 142.0 million in 2021 to USD 476.5 million in 2028 at a CAGR of 18.9% in the 2021-2028 period. Based on the industry analysis, the global market exhibited a decline in growth rate by 35% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The sudden fall in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, witnessing a positive demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic.


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The use of drones for asset management and infrastructure inspection has recently increased at an exponential rate due to the cost-effectiveness of drone services, easy maneuverability at remote locations, accurate image capturing through infrared cameras, and data analysis and prediction through machine learning (ML) technology. The market data collected through drones can be used to identify and predict defects such as corrosion in structures, coating failures, and any other structural damages. The oil and gas industry is largely focusing on the inspection and monitoring of rigs as they require regular checks for better performance and safety. According to our study, the global oil and gas industry invests around USD 50.76 billion yearly to monitor onshore and offshore pipelines.

Moreover, the numerous advantages associated with drone inspection over conventional helicopter inspection methods have facilitated its adoption for several applications such as pipeline monitoring and inspection, offshore platform inspection, wind turbine inspection, an inspection of power distribution lines, power plant inspection, solar panel inspection, and others.

COVID-19 Pandemic to Hamper the Demand for Drone Surveillance Services

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the oil and gas industry. Oil and gas rigs are operated in limited numbers due to the spread of the coronavirus. After the outbreak of COVID-19, drone service operators experienced a decrease in the demand for drone surveillance services for applications such as pipeline monitoring and inspection and offshore platform inspection.

The pandemic has created uncertainty about drone demand and is expected to continue till 2022. The oil and gas manufacturers are focusing on minimizing their expenses on the transportation, inspection, and monitoring of the oil and gas rigs. Key players such as Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Exxon Mobil Corp, Total SE, and others are preferring drones over helicopters for the inspection and monitoring of oil rigs to minimize the overall cost. Thus, this will facilitate the growth of the drone surveillance market for energy & power in near future.


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Rising Adoption of LiDAR Drones for Surveillance to Propel the Growth of the Market

Light detection and ranging (LiDAR) unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are highly preferred for oil and gas rig inspection purposes as they are combined with advanced laser and sensor technology-based systems and components. The drones comprise of a global navigation system, an inertial navigation system unit, a laser scanner unit, and an inertial measurement unit, allowing the customers to gain accurate, consistent, and fast inspection results.

In addition, the integration of advanced sensor technologies such as crash avoidance systems and warning systems enables drones ideal for use in several end-use applications. Moreover, an increase in R&D investments and offshore oil and gas maintenance has increased the adoption of LiDAR technology in the oil & gas industry. On the other hand, the rising demand for drones powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and analyze the intensity of rig structure coating breakdown and corrosion on ships is also driving market growth.


Growing Number of Wind Turbines to Drive Market

The rising number of installations of new wind turbines in North America and Europe is expected to propel the market growth during the forecast period. For instance, in 2018, Europe installed 409 offshore wind turbines. With this new deployment of turbines, Europe has a total installed offshore wind capacity of 18,499 MW. Out of this total capacity, the UK accounted for a 44% share. These factors are expected to propel the market at a higher CAGR during the forecast period.

Moreover, the rising use of AI-driven drones for wind turbine inspection will further facilitate market growth during 2020-2027. For example, in September 2020, Aerodyne Group announced a joint venture agreement with Ecopulse, the leading renewable energy provider in Mexico. This deal empowers the Aerodyne Group to provide end-to-end AI-driven drone inspection and surveying solutions for clean energy assets management.

Increasing Preference for Drone Inspection Methods over Conventional Methods to Boost Growth

Conventional inspection methods such as helicopter inspection, scaffolding, and rope access are time-consuming,  whereas the drone inspection method is time- and cost-saving. Therefore, drone inspection technology is widely preferred across industries, ranging from oil and gas to energy and utility to naval defense. According to Sky-Futures Ltd., the drones used for conducting inspection operations in the North Sea offshore structures resulted in an 80% cost saving for their oil and gas industry client. Besides, with drone inspection technology, the dependency on human operators and the risks associated with their lives has been reduced. These advantages associated with drone inspection methods have increased their adoption over conventional methods.


Limited Availability of Skilled Remote Drone Pilots to Hamper Market Growth

Experienced and skilled drone pilots are needed for the operation of drones for the inspection of offshore and onshore structures, but the lack of such pilots is expected to hamper the growth of this market. As per the US federal regulations and guidelines, a drone pilot should have an authenticated remote pilot certificate authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Moreover, the stringent government regulations for drone utilization are also expected to hamper market growth during 2020-2027. For example, a press release from the State of Arkansas forbids the use of drones for the surveillance of critical infrastructures under Act 1019. These factors will affect the growth of the market.


By Type Analysis

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Rising Use of Multirotor Drones for Rig Inspection to Boost Segmental Share

Based on type, the market is divided into multirotor, fixed-wing, and hybrid.

Among these, the multirotor drone type segment registered the highest market share in 2020. This segment is foreseen to remain the largest segment throughout the forecast period. The wide use of multirotor drones in various applications including pipeline monitoring and inspection, offshore platform inspection, wind turbine inspection, power plant inspection, and solar panel inspection, among others, are expected to drive the segment’s growth in the upcoming years. The company such as Airrobotics Inc. is actively involved in the design and development of the drones and its payloads suitable for the surveillance specific to power and energy domain.

On the other hand, the hybrid drone type segment is anticipated to grow at a significant CAGR during the projected period. This growth is owing to the rising investments for the development of hybrid VTOL fixed-wing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The high initial cost of this hybrid done segments is the restraining factor for the growth of the market.

By Application Analysis

Offshore Pipeline Monitoring and Inspection Segment to Account for Dominant Market Share

In terms of application, the market is segmented into pipeline monitoring and inspection, offshore platform inspection, wind turbine inspection, power plant inspection, solar panel inspection, and others.

The pipeline monitoring and inspection segment is expected to reach a significant market shares and is expected to display a healthy growth rate during the forecast period. This is owing to the high adoption of drones for new oil rigs and exploration activities in the Asian and European countries is expected to drive the growth of the market segment.

The wind turbine inspection segment is projected to grow at the fastest rate due to the rising number of offshore wind farm installations in the Middle East region. The growth of the segment is further supported by the rising demand for offshore drone surveillance in the energy industry.


North America Drone Surveillance Market for Energy & Power Size, 2020 (USD Million)

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In terms of geography, the market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America.

North America dominates drone surveillance market for energy & power industry share. This dominance is attributed to the widespread adoption of drone technology in the U.S. for pipeline inspection and monitoring applications. The U.S. has the world's largest pipeline network, which favors market growth in North America.

The market in Europe has registered the second-largest share in the base year owing to the increased installation of wind turbines in France. For instance, from 2021 onwards, France-based Hautes Falaises (Fécamp) will be commissioning 75 new wind turbines that will facilitate market growth in Europe.

Asia Pacific is anticipated to exhibit the fastest growth in the market during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the expanding number of unmanned aircraft systems uavs(UASs) and  unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) service suppliers in developing economies such as China and India. Besides, the region is home to several key players involved in the market such as Terra Drone Corp., Australian UAV Pty Ltd, and Sphere Drones, among others.

The market in Latin America and the Middle East & Africa is anticipated to display considerable growth during the forecast period. The presence of multiple offshore oil and gas companies and growing market for energy power is facilitating market growth in this region. Furthermore, rising installations of wind turbines in Brazil is predicted to augment the market. According to the Brazilian Wind Energy Association, there are 7,738 wind turbines and 637 wind farms in Brazil.


 Market Players to Focus on Providing Cost-Efficient Inspection Services to Customers

The drone surveillance markets for energy & power is highly fragmented with the presence of various key players such as Cyberhawk Innovations Limited, Airobotics Ltd., and Terra Drones, among others. These players are focusing on providing a wide range of cost-efficient services and solutions to oil and gas companies. Besides, factors such as strategic acquisitions, focus on expanding simulation and training services, and increasing investments in R&D activities are enabling large market players to hold a considerable share in the market.


  • Aerodyne Group (Malaysia)

  • Aesthetix Global (UAE)

  • Airobotics Ltd. (Israel)

  • Azure Drone SAS (France)

  • BAE Systems Inc.  (U.K.)

  • Cyberhawk Innovations Limited (U.K.)

  • Martek Aviation (U.K.)

  • Mistras Group (U.S.)

  • Percepto (Israel)

  • SEIKEY Srl (Italy)

  • Sky-Futures Ltd (U.K.)

  • Sphere Drones (Australia)

  • Terra Drone Corp. (Japan)

  • Viper Drones (U.S.)

  • Avitas Systems, Inc. (U.S.)

  • Australian UAV Pty Ltd (Australia)

  • Qualcomm Technologies (U.S)

  • Texo DSI (U.K.)


  • August 2021- Qualcomm Technologies, a leader in inventing breakthroughs active in the power robotics and drone platforms enabled low-power computing and camera systems integrated with AI, and long-range connectivity such as 5G, and Wi-Fi 6. The product comprise of hardware progressing with more compact, light, and affordable, as well as contain high-resolution camera technology. Drones offer a unique, up-close perspective for oil and gas refineries.

  • August 2021- Indian Oil Corp (IOC) is deploying drones to monitor its vast network of pipelines across the country. The country's top oil company already uses a combination of sophisticated technology and patrolling to detect any leakage from the pipeline network spanning over 15,000-kilometers. At present it is adding drones to monitor the vast network.


An Infographic Representation of Drone Surveillance Market

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The drone surveillance market for energy & power industry research report provides a detailed analysis of the market. It encompasses key aspects such as supply chain, R&D capabilities and optimization of the manufacturing process. Besides this, the report offers insights into the current market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report focuses on several factors that have contributed to the growth of the advanced market over recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Million)

By Segmentation

By Type

  • Multirotor

  • Fixed Wings

  • Hybrid

By Application

  • Pipeline Monitoring and Inspection

  • Offshore Platform Inspection

  • Wind Turbine Inspection

  • Power Plant Inspection

  • Solar Panel Inspection

  • Others

By Region

  • North America (By Type, Application, and Country)

    • U.S. (By Type)

    • Canada (By Type)

  • Europe (By Type, Application, and Country)

    • U.K (By Type)

    • Germany (By Type)

    • France (By Type)

    • Italy (By Type)

    • Spain (By Type)

    • Russia (By Type)

    • Rest of Europe (By Type)

  • Asia Pacific (By Type, Application, and Country)

    • China (By Type)

    • India (By Type)

    • Japan (By Type)

    • Australia (By Type)

    • Southeast Asia (By Type)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Type)

  • Middle East & Africa (By Type, Application, and Country)

    • South Africa (By Type)

    • GCC (By Type)

    • Rest of the Middle East & Africa (By Type)

  • Latin America (By Type, Application, and Country)

    • Brazil (By Type)

    • Mexico (By Type)

    • Rest of Latin America (By Type)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 118.8 million in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 476.5 million by 2028.

The market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 18.9% during the forecast period (2021-2028).

The pipeline monitoring and inspection application segment is anticipated to be the leading segment in this market during 2021-2028.

The increasing number of new wind turbines is the key factor that is driving the growth of the market.

Cyberhawk Innovations Limited, Terra Drone Corp., Aerodyne Group, Sky-Futures Ltd, and Avitas Systems, Inc. are the key players in the global market.

North America held the largest market share in 2020.

Providing cost-efficient services to customers and mergers & acquisitions are the top strategies adopted by the key players to sustain in the market.

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