A new Navigant Research report is predicting the materials market for wind blades to have an estimated global value of $4.57 billion in 2017. In addition, the firm estimates over $37.34 billion in materials could be produced and purchased between 2017 and 2026.
According to Navigant, its report evaluates the global demand for key wind blade materials, including reinforcement fiber, resins, core materials, adhesives, paint and coatings, and metal blade studs.
The rapid pace of research and development for wind blades, manufacturing processes and advanced materials is enabling stronger and longer blades – making wind turbines more efficient, increasing turbine annual energy production, and lowering the cost of energy from wind plants, the report says. This is a massive market by total revenue and the sheer volume of material, and it is driven directly by the global wind power forecast, the report adds.
“The wind blade materials market is one of the most competitive, dynamic and strategically important parts of the wind turbine supply chain,” comments Jesse Broehl, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Many materials suppliers are competing to meet or ideally exceed the demands of the wind turbine manufacturers and independent wind blade manufacturers.”
Despite the market competition, high growth in wind blade materials is not expected to occur globally during the next decade, according to the report. The U.S. and China are in a period of peak installation rates – which places downward pressure on the expected 10-year outlook. Markets with anticipated higher growth, however, include South Africa and numerous countries in Latin America.