Global wind power installed capacity is set to rise from approximately 364.9 Gigawatts (GW) in 2014 to 650.8 GW by 2020, increasing the demand for wind turbine components across the value chain, says research and consulting firm GlobalData.
The company’s latest report states that due to future demand growth, global investment in wind power projects will increase from $70 billion in 2013 to $101 billion by the end of 2020.
Wind turbine manufacturers produced approximately 11% of wind turbine gearboxes, 48% of rotor blades and 43% of generators in-house in 2013, according to GlobalData’s report. Meanwhile, 10%, 62% and 37% of gearboxes, rotor blades and generators, respectively, were manufactured in-house in 2006.
Prasad Tanikella, GlobalData’s Senior Analyst covering Power, says: “Depending on wind power component supplies, turbine manufacturers make strategic decisions over whether or not to produce the equipment in-house.
“Some of the major manufacturers, such as Enercon and Vestas, prefer to develop components within their business structure, to avoid issues with quality control and design confidentiality.”
However, the analyst adds that constant growth in the global wind power market is forcing turbine manufacturers to seek multiple component suppliers to ensure smooth production. Indeed, several long-term agreements are currently being drawn up between turbine manufacturers and their suppliers.
Tanikella continues: “Overall, component costs are decreasing as a result of reduced raw material prices. We therefore predict a low growth rate for the wind turbine components market over the forecast period, despite wind power investment seeing a significant increase by the end of 2020.”