"Industry restructuring is underway as a response to slumping demand, with positive long-term implications for the wind energy sector," indicated Eduard Sala de Vedruna, Director of Global Wind Energy Advisory at IHS. "Wind turbine players face important strategic decisions now to diversify markets geographically, build a position in offshore wind turbines, and optimize their manufacturing operations to address these demand shifts".
Investment levels will return to previous highs ($34 billion in 2008) by 2012, the study finds. Slower than expected economic recovery in the United States, a plateau in European demand, and continued pressure on prices globally are among the reasons investment will remain below the 2008 mark in the short term.
IHS expects the amount of installed wind power capacity to jump 16 percent in 2011 compared to the previous year. The increase in installed capacity will translate into a 14 percent increase in investment for the year, according to the study.
Average prices for turbine plus tower remain below US$910/kW in 2011, due to ongoing globalization of turbine manufacturing, increasing competition from Asian suppliers and an abrupt drop in demand that have created a challenging environment for manufacturers, the study says.
"Pricing in the global wind turbine market has undergone rapid shifts in the last two-and-a-half years," said Marc Mühlenbach, Global Wind Energy Advisory service analyst for IHS. "The recession hitting the market in 2009 moved the industry from a seller’s to a buyer’s market and it remains that way."