APAC to lead gearbox, direct-drive markets, says GlobalData

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Asia-Pacific (APAC) is expected to lead the global wind gearbox and direct drive equipment markets with a share of 46 percent and 53.5 percent, respectively over the forecast period of 2018 to 2022, said GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The company’s latest report, Wind Gearbox and Direct Drive, Update 2018, reveals the global trends of wind power are creating business opportunities for new and refurbishment markets. It states that prominent markets such as China, the U.S., and E.U., which had made significant strides in the wind market, are creating a significant market for gearbox refurbishments.

Installation of wind gearboxes and direct drive equipment are estimated to aggregate 209.6 GW and 81.3 GW, respectively, over the forecast period.

The total installation of wind gearboxes stood at 37.8 GW in 2017 as compared to 14.4 GW for direct drive, and will continue leading the market over the forecast period. However, due to their improved mechanical design, superior operation, and maintenance aspects, direct drives are likely to experience a higher growth rate over the forecast period. The direct drives market is expected to witness 17.6 GW of installations, i.e., 29.9 percent of the total installation in 2022.

“Within APAC, major countries such as China, India, Australia, and South Korea are likely to boost the growth of the drive-train markets,” said Nirushan Rajasekaram, power analyst at GlobalData. “The market for wind gearboxes in APAC is expected to reach to $1.58 billion in 2022.”

China accounted for 27.3 percent of the global gearbox market value in 2017. The country is committed toward developing its renewable portfolio to sustain development activities and growing electricity demand from the transport sector industries and rural regions to improve standards of living, while reducing power sector emissions. However, the market is projected to decline till 2022, due to change in awarding wind projects from a feed-in tariff model to auctioning model.

“The historical installations of wind turbines in China will see the gearbox refurbishment market value grow significantly over the forecast period,” Rajasekaram said. “India is estimated to be the fastest growing market for gearbox, growing at a CAGR of 15.9 percent over the forecast period. Similar to China, the government proposed ambitious renewable energy targets, which are expected to drive the wind-equipment market. It is likely that direct drives will also see higher rates of deployment in India, during the forecast period.”

However, despite strong projections for wind gearbox and direct drive markets, certain market uncertainties exist. Major countries such as China, the U.S., and Germany are experiencing slowdown in wind-turbine installations, which would directly impact the drive-train market, although opportunities for refurbishment are plenty, owing to their legacy wind turbine installations.

“Evolving power and smart technologies could result in wind power becoming uncompetitive and thereby impact its growth in the future,” Rajasekaram said. “Emerging markets will require the construction of sufficient grid infrastructure to support new generation capacity addition, which could slow market deployment of wind power.”

More infoGlobalData.com