Estimated demand significantly higher than supply options!
For the first time in the short story of modern wind power, a situation has occurred where the industry’s ability to deliver will be determined by its own growth rate, rather than the pull of market demand.
This is the main finding of a new report, Supply Chain Assessment 2006, released by BTM Consult ApS today.
Increasing political awareness of both security of supply concerns and the global warming issue, alongside consistently high levels of oil prices, have caused a very high demand for wind power equipment in all parts of the world. Wind power has entered the mainstream of electricity generation technologies.
The assessment concludes that although wind turbine manufacturers are well prepared for high demand - demonstrated by the fact that the industry was able to cope with 40% growth in 2005 - the supply of vital key components is not able to keep up.
These critical components, according to the assessment, are gearboxes, large bearings for gearboxes and the turbine drive train, and forged components for the main shaft, gears etc. This shortfall in supply is expected to last at least until the end of 2008.
It is recognised in the assessment that huge efforts are being made to build up additional manufacturing capacity, particularly for large bearings and gearboxes. These efforts had already started in 2005-2006, but will take time to reach fruition.
Those components creating bottlenecks for the wind power industry are mainly produced in Europe. An extension of manufacturing capacity is already under way in Asia, but turbine manufacturers located in the fast-growing markets of China and India will still have to depend for some time on European sources.
By the end of 2008 the supply chain for wind turbine manufacture is expected to have reached a balance with anticipated demand. Future demand, however, is likely to be higher than previously expected by BTM Consult ApS projections. The company will release its next five year forecast for the wind industry as usual at the end of March 2007.
The report International Wind Energy Development – Supply Chain Assessment 2006, December 2006 will be released on December 15.
For further information contact BTM Consult
BTM Consult ApS