The research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global wind turbine gear oil market for 2017-2021. Technavio presents a detailed picture of the market by way of study, synthesis, and summation of data from multiple sources.
Depending on the stage in which the gear oil is used, the global wind turbine gear oil market is divided into factory fill and service fill gear oil. Factory fill gear oil is defined as the initial oil filled while the gearboxes are in the manufacturing stage prior to their installation. The demand by volume, for factory fill gear oil, is proportional to the new wind turbine installations.
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Technavio analysts highlight the following three factors that are contributing to the growth of the global wind turbine gear oil market:
- Rise in wind energy consumption
- Supportive regulatory policies for wind energy projects
- Digitization of gearboxes
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Rise in wind energy consumption
Countries worldwide are slowly shifting their focus toward renewable sources of energy for power generation because of the slow depletion of conventional energy sources and the growth in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Wind power is one of the most abundant sources of alternative forms of energy and considered as the most efficient source of power among all the renewable energy sources.
Thanikachalam Chandrasekaran, a lead power research analyst at Technavio, says, “According to GWEC, China and the US are the leading countries with regard to the cumulative installed wind power capacity. Increased endeavors in these countries to harness wind energy bode well for the overall market growth. Growing awareness about the benefits of the wind energy is fueling the demand for the same, which will lead to more wind turbine installations.”
Supportive regulatory policies for wind energy projects
Governments worldwide support wind energy projects through favorable policies and tax incentives. The feed-in tariff (FiT) policy, which is designed to encourage investment in technologies related to renewable energy generation, is one such notable example. The Renewable Energy Sources Act (2014) in Germany established fixed FiTs for power utilities, which use renewable energy for power generation in the country.
“Different policies specific to various wind energy generation facilities, such as onshore and offshore, are also covered in the policy document. The government of China also provides subsidies under the country's FiT policy to wind power plant owners. There was a minor cut in FiTs for onshore wind farms in late 2014,” adds Thanikachalam.
Digitization of gearboxes
Wind turbine manufacturers are focusing more on preventive and proactive maintenance rather than reactive maintenance. Keeping structural modifications aside, the overall performance of a wind turbine gearbox can be significantly improved with the effective use and monitoring of gear oils. Parameters such as viscosity, temperature, thickness, and level of contamination are indicators of gear oil health.
Condition monitoring programs are mostly used for offshore turbines as the cost of reactive maintenance in offshore turbines is very high. For remote monitoring, linear variable filter-based mini spectrometers are fitted along with the turbines. However, gradually, the trend of digitization is also gaining importance in onshore turbines.
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