With the rising demand for energy derived from alternative sources, the wind energy market is poised to grow exponentially in the coming years, subsequently giving impetus to the wind turbine operations and maintenance (O&M) market. A modern wind turbine is capable of working over 120,000 hours throughout its estimated lifespan of about 20 years. Wind turbines are designed to provide long-term productivity, which makes maintenance essential to prevent untimely depreciation of turbines. Some of the breakdown-prone components in a wind turbine are generators, gear boxes, drive trains, brakes, and rotor blades.
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Onshore Wind Farms Held Dominant Share in Global Wind Turbine O&M Market
While selecting a wind turbine operations and maintenance approach, aspects such as wind turbine manufacturers (OEM), independent service providers (ISOs), and in-house O&M teams are usually considered. Based on the location of the wind turbines, wind farms can be broadly classified into offshore wind farms and onshore wind farms. Downtime caused by wind turbine component failures is more common in onshore wind farms when compared to their offshore counterparts. The former is subjected to harsher weather conditions and logistical obstacles, because of which the demand for wind turbine O&M arises majorly from onshore wind farms. In 2014, the onshore segment accounted for over 93.98% of the global wind turbine O&M market. Due to the rising incidence of wind turbine breakdowns such as gear box failure and generator assembly failures, the demand for wind turbine maintenance is likely to increase substantially over the next few years.
Operation and maintenance of wind turbines requires sophisticated capabilities for the service provider to diagnose problems in components. Driven substantially by the rising demand for wind energy, the global wind turbine operations and maintenance market, which in 2014 was valued at at US$9.3 bn, will reach US$20.6 bn by the end of 2023. If the figures hold true, the market will exhibit a robust CAGR of 8.80% therein.
Europe Emerges as Largest Market for Wind Turbine Operations and Maintenance
Regionally, the global wind turbine O&M market can be segmented into Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and Rest of the World. Of these, Europe held the largest share in the global wind turbine O&M market, accounting for 40.55% in 2014. Installation of wind turbines has increased rapidly in Europe due to favorable government regulations supporting energy derived from alternative sources. This is a key factor boosting the market for wind turbine O&M in the region. Asia Pacific has emerged as the second largest market for wind turbine operations and maintenance in 2014. Among the emerging nations in Asia Pacific, India, China, and Japan exhibit the highest cumulative installation of wind turbines. North America emerged as the third largest market for wind turbine O&M in the same year, while Rest of the World is likely to witness a rapid growth in demand in the forthcoming years due to the implementation of favorable policies supporting the development of renewable energy.
Some of the companies operating in the market are Enercon GmbH, Gamesa Corporación Tecnológica, Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technologies, Co. Ltd., GE Wind Turbine, Vestas Wind Systems A/S, Nordex SE, Suzlon Group, Siemens Wind Power GmbH, Upwind Solutions, Inc., and Guodian United Power Technology Company Ltd.