The worldwide market for distributed control systems (DCS) is expected to be worth $19.82 billion by 2020, growing at a compound annual rate of 4.91 percent from 2015 to 2020.

That’s according to a new report from MarketsandMarkets, which attributes the growth of the market to augmented power generation capacities around the world and expanding industrial infrastructure in emerging markets such as the Middle East and Africa.

Distributed control systems help factories address complex process automation challenges, enabling better control and monitoring of operations in industries such as oil and gas, chemicals, power generation, metals and mining, pharmaceuticals, paper and pulp, food and beverage, and water and wastewater treatment.

Among the various applications for which DCS solutions are employed, the continuous process segment is expected to lead the market over the next five years and is also expected to show the highest growth rate, driven by demand from the oil and gas, water and wastewater treatment, chemicals, and oil and gas industries.

Asia-Pacific was the largest market for distributed control systems in 2015 and is expected to have the highest rate of growth during the forecast period, thanks to growing investment in renewable power generation.

North America is expected to be the second largest market because of the use of DCS in the region’s booming oil and gas sector. Unconventional exploration is one of the major factors driving the growth of the distributed control system market in this region, the research firm said.