Technological advancements in wind power mechanisms will negatively impact upon the wind energy operations and maintenance market, but will improve renewable energy generation, according to a new report by business intelligence company GBI Research.
The new report* found that mechanical developments will allow wind farms to run far more efficiently, increasing profits and helping the environment, once initial investments are made to upgrade aging turbines. The global wind energy operation and maintenance (O&M) market is currently being driven by an increasing numbers of installations backed by financial incentives, capital subsidies and tax rebates, the component failure rates of turbines, and the aging nature of the majority of wind turbines in operation. However, upcoming technological innovations in wind farm components are expected to cause reductions in O&M revenue during the long-term future, as improved efficiency of wind power systems will decrease risks of breakage.
Europe represents the largest global O&M market, gaining estimated market revenue of $2.8 billion in 2011. As one of the first large-scale installers of wind turbines, the region is also the largest market for wind energy O&M, with a substantial number of ageing wind turbines requiring regular repair and maintenance. During 2011, the US also contained around $40 billion of wind installations that were out of warranty, providing another huge market opportunity for maintenance.
Direct Drive Train (DDT) technology eliminates the need for a gearbox in wind turbines, which represents one of the major causes of breakdowns, as seen in the negative publicity generated around recent gearbox failures in the UK's offshore Kentish Flats wind farm and Lackawanna wind farm in the US. DDT improves power output, increases reliability, and reduces costs over the life of a turbine, and, although direct drive wind turbines are more expensive than geared turbines, they are more economical considering the entire life of a project.
Tension control measurement technology for bolted joints on turbines is another advancement that acts to minimize O&M costs. An estimated 90% of bolted joint failures in wind installations occur as a result of insufficient bolt tension. This technology can therefore potentially save millions of dollars over a plant’s 20-year life.
Over the historic period 2005-2011, the global market grew at a CAGR of 17.6% from 2005-2011 and reached $5.6 billion in 2011. The global wind energy O&M market is expected to reach $13.3 billion in 2020 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.6% over the forecast period 2012-2020.
NOTES TO EDITORS
This report gives an in-depth analysis of the wind energy maintenance market in four global regions; namely Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, South and Central America, and the Middle East and Africa, with forecast until 2020. The research analyzes the market revenue of the wind Operations & Maintenance (O&M) market in the 16 countries covered under these regions. It provides a detailed analysis of wind energy O&M market revenue from 2005-2011 and forecast to 2020, share by market segment, share by region, share by company type and share by type of maintenance.
The report also provides information on O&M market demand by estimating wind turbines (in Megawatts (MW)) which are out of warranty (for 2011–2020), the number of blade repairs (in units) during 2011-2020 and the gearbox refurbishment market (in units) during 2011–2020. It also covers market key trends, drivers and restraints, technology analysis, detailed analysis of key companies.
This report is built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis by GBI Research’s team of industry experts.
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