The global wind turbine tower market is set to decline over the next several years, dropping several billion dollars due to falling costs, decreasing capacity expansion, and increased tower height.
These are the findings from a new report from research and consulting firm GlobalData, which investigates the global wind turbine tower market, and provides analysis at a regional and global level, as well as for key countries. The report focuses on the role of the Asia-Pacific region (APAC), which GlobalData claims will maintain its dominance in the market, but will nevertheless see their dominance decrease in value from $9.62 billion in 2015 to $5.5 billion in 2020.
GlobalData pins the decrease firmly on the expected decrease in wind capacity addition paired with falling tower costs.
As a prime example of the decrease in wind capacity addition the industry is expecting to witness, China installed 33 GW of new wind capacity in 2015, and is expecting to install 30 GW by the end of 2016. However, to meet its target of 250 GW wind capacity by 2020, China will only need to install 22 GW per year, resulting in either revised goals or decreased capacity additions.
However, as Rahul Khatri, GlobalData’s Analyst covering Power, explains, there is more to the expected decline in the wind turbine tower market than just decreased capacity additions: “The decline in the tower market in the APAC region is in line with global trends, as the overall wind tower market is expected to drop from $17.2 billion in 2015 to $14.5 billion by 2020, mainly due to declining prices and increased tower heights in larger turbines. Indeed, tower prices are expected to fall by 7% by 2020.”
The Asia-Pacific market is also expected to be heavily impacted by a lack of sufficient grid infrastructure to contain further variable wind capacity expansions.
“The unprecedented growth of the wind power industry has also put immense pressure on the wind turbine component manufacturers making towers, rotor blades, gearboxes, bearings and generators,” Khatri continued. “Rising demand has increased the production capacities of towers as new players entered the industry and existing providers increased their capacity. This sudden rise of industry growth has created supply chain defects and strained supply lines.”
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