Jan 31 2008
The booming North American wind energy generator market attracts foreign investors by the droves as a result of its increased focus on alternate energy sources, technology advances and tax break extensions. This compels domestic companies to compete more aggressively.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, North American Wind Energy Generator Market, finds that the market earned revenues between $4 and $5 billion in 2006 and expects to touch $50 billion in 2013.
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The wind power market in Canada becomes increasingly dynamic due to federal and, more importantly, provincial efforts to promote this market. The country will greatly benefit from the new wind legislation aimed at achieving 10,000 megawatts (MW) wind power generation by 2010.
Meanwhile, the U.S. wind energy industry is well on course to add more than 3,000 MW to its power generating capacity in 2007, topping its 2006 record of 2,454 MW. The country’s production tax credit (PTC) is an influential growth factor, as installations increase and decrease depending on PTC’s extension and termination.
“Industrial investments in production base and developer confidence are also affected due to wavering PTC policy,” says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst S. Prem Anand. “However, state-based policies such as renewables portfolio standard (RPS), renewable electricity standards, and Renewable Energy Production Incentive (REPI) moderately compensate for inconsistency in PTC implementation.”
U.S. companies can take heart from the issuance of renewable energy certificates (REC), which encourage domestic generation renewable energy. Market participants also begin to understand that the future trends will be influenced more by RPS than PTC, although the latter will still function as a developer confidence indicator.
The U.S. market witnessed a late surge in new wind turbine installations in the past two years, but it still trails Germany in the global ranking. Meanwhile, in wind power production, it is only a notch below Spain, according to the Global Wind Energy Council.
To extend this good form and augment turbine installations, wind turbine vendors will have to sort out issues regarding gearboxes, castings and blades in the supply chain. They can achieve this by developing close ties with component suppliers. The high demand for turbines will encourage suppliers to increase capacity during the design of their manufacturing facilities.
This exponential demand triggers a simultaneous and proportional rise in cost, which helps offset the imbalance in supply and demand. However, market participants will not have this advantage in the future, when demand drops. Wide variations in cost also challenge the wind industry, as winds are sporadic and windy spots are located far away from vast urban centers, which are the major users of power.
“Wind energy generators should find a solution to rectify the cost issue if they are to survive in the long term,” notes Prem Anand. “They can achieve this by increasing the scale of production to derive economies of scale or outsource the manufacturing of smaller components to reduce the cost involved in production.”
North American Wind Energy Generator Markets is part of the Energy & Power Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in the following markets: North American Small and Medium Wind Energy Turbine Market, Global Large Gas Turbines Market and Global Steam Turbines Market. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.