The research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global wind turbine gearbox market for 2016-2020. The report also lists new installations and replacement installations as the two segments based on installation, of which the new installation segment dominated the global wind turbine gearbox market with approximately 65% of the share, in 2015.
According to Thanikachalam Chandrasekaran, a lead analyst at Technavio for power research, “The demand for wind turbines is expected to be significant from emerging economies in APAC such as India and China. For instance, India is expected to double its wind power capacity by 2020 by adding 4,000 MW per annum.”
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Technavio energy sector analysts highlight the following three factors that are contributing to the growth of the global wind turbine gearbox market:
- Increase in rotor diameter
- Rise in wind energy consumption
- Government support for wind energy projects
Increase in rotor diameter
Unlike the conventional power plants, wind energy generation is highly dependent on meteorological conditions, especially wind speed. The maximum energy that can be harnessed by a wind turbine is roughly proportionate to the swept area of the rotor. Advances in technology and blade design are the main factors leading to the increase in wind turbine output and capacity. By just doubling the rotor size or diameter, the power output can increase fourfold.
The increase in wind turbine rotor diameter is expected to lead to the growth in the size of the main gearbox. As the size of the gearbox increases, the price is also expected to go up, thereby increasing the revenue of wind turbine gearbox vendors.
Rise in wind energy consumption
Countries are slowly shifting their focus toward renewable resources to produce electricity because of the depletion in conventional resources and growing awareness about greenhouse gas emissions. Wind power is the most efficient source of power generation among all renewable sources of energy. It is also one of the most abundant sources of alternative energy.
China was the leading country in terms of cumulative installed wind power capacity, which was 114.8 GW in 2014, followed by the US with 65.9 GW. The adoption of wind turbine gearboxes is increasing with a concomitant rise in the demand for wind power plants.
Government support for wind energy projects
Governments worldwide are supporting wind energy projects through favorable policies and tax incentives. The Paris Agreement signed at COP21 in 2015 has made the governments set internal targets to increase their share of renewable energy in their electricity generation mix. One notable example of such initiatives is the feed-in tariff (FiT) policy in that is designed to encourage investment in technologies related to renewable energy generation. The FiT policy covers various aspects of the wind energy industry such as eligibility, bonuses, and other grants. Separate policies specific to various wind energy generation facilities, such as onshore and offshore, are also described in the policy document.
“In China, the National Development and Reform Commission provides subsidies under the country's FiT policy to wind power plant owners. This kind of government support is encouraging investors to invest in wind energy projects, which, in turn, fuels the demand for wind turbine gearboxes,” says Thanikachalam.
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