Wind power: Global investment to hit £66bn by 2020

Global investment in wind power projects will reach $101bn (£66.6bn) by the end of 2020 as capacity is expected to rise from 364.9GW in 2014 to 650.8GW by 2020 in response to increased demand.

So says a new report, Global Wind Turbine Value Chain – Production, Market Share, Competitive Landscape and Market Size to 2020, from research and consulting firm GlobalData; providing an overview of the global wind power market.

“Overall, component costs are decreasing as a result of reduced raw material prices, said GlobalData senior analyst Prasad Tanikella. 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.”

Manufacturing decisions

This support similar analysis from the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) and Greenpeace International, which indicates that wind power capacity will in fact hit 2,000GW by 2030; creating over two million green jobs and reducing CO2 emissions by more than three billion tonnes a year

However, GlobalData points out that this increasing demand is forcing turbine manufacturers to outsource component manufacturing rather than produce them in-house as they have been doing. In 2013, wind turbine manufacturers produced approximately 11% of wind turbine gearboxes, 48% of rotor blades and 43% of generators in-house according to the report. 

“Depending on wind power component supplies, turbine manufacturers make strategic decisions over whether or not to produce the equipment in-house.” Tanikella said. “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.”

GlobalData said several long-term agreements are currently being drawn up between turbine manufacturers and their supplier’s to ensure production continues into the future. 

Wind power resilience

Analysis from Cambridge Econometrics released last week explored how increasing wind power’s share of the generation mix in the future could cut costly importation of fossil fuels and make the UK energy market more resilient to fluctuating prices.

Earlier in the month, the coalition Government insisted that wind power remains a ‘crucial’ element of the UK’s generation mix, off the back of UK wind power generation rising by 15% per cent in 2014 and wind contributing 14% of UK power in a record-breaking December. Read more wind power news stories here.

Lucinda Dann

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