Global Wind Market Shows Long Term Growth

The U.S. market for wind energy bounced back this year; and now a new study finds that the long-term outlook for the global wind energy market also looks promising. Although the study finds that short-term investment in the sector will remain slow through the end of 2011; investment in the market will return to its previous highs ($34 billion in 2008) by 2012, and increase to more than $68 billion by 2025.

According to IHS Emerging Energy Research’s Global Wind Turbine Markets and Strategies: 2011-2025 report, worldwide installed wind capacity will increase from 188 GW to over 940 GW during this period. Key factors driving this growth will be sustained long-term demand for renewable energy, intensifying competition between Asian and European suppliers, a shift toward larger turbine manufacturing and consolidation of wind turbine buyers.

Wind power

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The report also analyzes the strategies of leading and emerging turbine manufacturers. According to the study, increasing competition from Asian suppliers and an abrupt drop in demand have created a challenging environment for manufacturers.

Ongoing globalization of manufacturing has kept average prices for turbines (plus towers) below $910 / kW in 2011. “Pricing in the global wind turbine market has undergone rapid shifts in the last two and a half years,” said Marc Mühlenbach, Global Wind Energy Advisory service analyst for IHS. “The recession hitting the market in 2009 moved the industry from a seller’s to a buyer’s market and it remains that way.”

Lauren Craig is a writer and consultant living in Seattle, WA. She holds an M.S. in International Development from Tulane University, and is co-founder of Sustainable Systems Integrators, LLC., an employee-owned solar energy design and installation firm in New Orleans, LA. She is also certified in PV design and installation by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).