Manufacturers of wind turbines, as much as those involved in the manufacture of solar panels, are facing the brunt of oversupply of raw materials and a fall in their prices. This is the major reason for Solyndra to go bankrupt. A similar situation is prevalent in the wind energy sector as well, where the global leader in wind turbine manufacture, Vestas Wind Systems, is embarking on a massive job and production cuts. Large scale decline in the prices of raw materials, and increasing competition from the Chinese manufacturers have forced the company to cut production and labor to become competitive. With economic recovery plans, initiated to bail out ailing industries in the wake of the global recession, gradually being phased out worldwide, the prospects for clean energy sector appear to be tough in 2011 and in the near term. With no huge support coming from the government, the industry is faced with a situation where it is required to be more cost-effective and competitive in the years ahead. Demand-wise, substantial potential exists from the developed as well as developing regions. This offers significant revenue potential for the industry in the years ahead, alongside increasing demand from developing countries. However, cost-effectiveness remains the key for the industry’s success in the years ahead.
Onshore technology, which entails the establishment of wind farms on the land, represents the largest segment in the global wind energy market. One of the key factors leading to the lower penetration of the offshore technology is that this technology is in its nascent stages. Despite of the significant success of this technology, the higher costs associated with installation, operation and maintenance of offshore turbines becomes a major hurdle for proliferation of this technology. In 2010, offshore wind turbine supply grew significantly over supply in 2009. In addition to the total capacity supply, the offshore segment also witnessed a moderate growth in the average size of turbine that reached 1,655 kW. The share of offshore turbines is likely to improve in the years as countries with long coastlines look to take advantage of this geographical advantage to establish offshore wind farms.
The global wind energy market has witnessed a spurt in long-term research activities/projects. The urgency of long-term research designed to complement product development has led governments to pump in significant resources as investments for research projects. To pragmatically achieve the slated “2020 target” of meeting 12% of the world’s electricity needs from the winds, extensive research and development into wind energy technology is imperative. Although the cost of wind energy has drastically declined over the past few years, a further reduction of 30% to 50% is required if wind energy is to compete on par with conventional energies. Appropriate funding and co-ordination of R&D activities could very well help in achieving a cost reduction of 40%. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has established a flexible framework for joint R&D projects, and technology transfer among member countries such as Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Europe represents the largest market for wind turbines worldwide, in terms of installed wind farm capacity, as stated by the new market research report on Wind Energy. Dominance of Europe in the wind energy market is driven by significant demand for wind energy from countries such as Germany, Spain, France and Italy. However, Europe is losing market share to Asia-Pacific, which is projected to emerge as the fastest growing regional market for wind energy worldwide. Asia-Pacific also leads in terms of fastest growth potential, and is projected to expand over the years at the highest CAGR of about 42.5% through 2017.
Key market participants profiled in the report include American Electric Power, AES Corporation, Cielo Wind Power, Dongfang Electric Corporation, Enel SpA, Enercon GmbH, Gamesa Corp., Green Mountain Energy Company, GE Energy, Goldwind, NextEra Energy Resources, Shell WindEnergy Inc., Sinovel Wind Group Co., Suzlon Energy Limited, TransAlta Wind, and Vestas Wind Systems A/S.
The research report titled “Wind Energy: A Global Strategic Business Report” announced by Global Industry Analysts Inc., provides a comprehensive review of industry overview, technology overview, market trends, growth drivers, product innovations, recent industry activity and profiles of market players worldwide. Analysis and overview is provided for major geographic markets such as US, Canada, Japan, Europe (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, UK, Spain, The Netherlands, Portugal, and Rest of Europe), Asia-Pacific (China, India, Australia and Rest of Asia-Pacific), Middle East & Africa and Latin America. Market analytics are provided in terms of Megawatts (MW) for installed wind energy capacity as well as annual capacity additions for the years 2009 through 2017. The study also provides an insight into market evolution over the period 2003-2008.