The growing proliferation of offshore wind farms will lead to a decline in the wind turbine rotor blade market share for onshore installations, says a new report from research firm GlobalData.
According to the report, offshore wind farms will account for 11% of all installed rotor blades by 2020, whereas last year, they did not even reach 1%.
Rotor blades used for onshore and offshore wind turbines are not significantly different in terms of design, structure or composition; however, larger blades are used for offshore applications due to the larger turbine size and rated power output.
The largest wind rotor blade market in 2011 – by a substantial margin – was China, which held a 59% share, with 37,385 installations. The U.S. came in a relatively distant second, with an installed total of 11,085 rotor blades accounting for 18% of the global market, and India was third, with an 11% share.
GlobalData predicts that global cumulative installed wind power capacity will show steady growth until the end of the decade, increasing from 238.6 GW last year to 658.45 GW by the end of 2020.
However, due to growth in the average turbine capacity, this increase will not be mirrored by the number of wind turbine rotor blades installed during the same period, GlobalData says, adding that from a global total of 63,405 installed last year, the figure will actually drop to 45,675 by the end of the decade.