Wind energy T&M market

Spotlight on renewable energy post recession ensures strong traction for the wind testing market, which is expected to reach $84.3 million in 2015

Improved global economic conditions and the gravitation toward renewable energy enabled robust growth for the wind testing market during 2010. The trend toward alternative resources and clean energy is underway, with wind turbines becoming the fastest-growing energy source in the world and enabling higher power outputs.

New opportunities are unfolding for the wind testing market as the need for certification and verification of wind turbine components increases. Both component manufacturers and wind power operators need to test, monitor, and inspect procedures during the product’s lifecycle.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Renewable Energy Market Opportunities: Wind Testing, finds that the market earned revenues of €44.7 ($60.7) million in 2010 and estimates this to reach  €62.1 ($84.3) million in 2015.

“The adoption of newly-developed turbine technologies is likely to trigger fast-paced growth in the global wind industry,” says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Sivakumar Narayanaswamy. “Increasingly sophisticated computational Interpretation and analytic capabilities of measured data are driving the growth of the condition-monitoring solutions market.”

The CAGR of global offshore wind farm capacity is pegged at 32% from 2009 to 2015, with its contribution expected to reach 55 gigawatts (GW) by 2020.

One of the key challenges for vendors in this market is the lack of standards that define the testing procedures. Finalizing testing standards at the earliest will benefit stakeholders in the wind energy sector and drive revenues.

In addition, although the wind energy sector has picked up steam, acceptance of wind as an energy source is slowing down due to higher operation and maintenance (O&M) costs. This has a profound impact in cases where the location of wind energy plants/farms is remote, as in offshore constructions.

Test equipment manufacturers catering to this market are therefore challenged to provide cost-effective solutions to keep O&M costs low. In the non-destructive test (NDT) equipment segment, inspections on wind plant infrastructure are carried out by visual, radiographic, and ultrasonic methods from the design phase until maintenance after installation.

“The use of composite materials in the construction of blades and towers for greater efficiency and reliability necessitates better NDT techniques and tools,” says Narayanaswamy. “The vendors in this market have to tackle this issue by expediting R&D efforts to keep pace with the evolving component technologies.”


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