Wind Energy To Surpass Aerospace As Largest User Of Advanced Composite Materials


The wind energy sector will overtake aerospace as the largest user of advanced composite materials as the overall market for advanced composites – based on carbon fibers, carbon nanotubes and graphene – more than triples to $25.8 billion by 2020, according to a new report from Lux Research.

The use of advanced structural materials by wind turbine manufacturers will increase from $2.5 billion this year to $15.4 billion in 2020 as growth in aerospace lags. According to the report, wind energy will account for nearly 60% of the market for composites in 2020, compared with the current 35%.

‘Despite serving as a flagship for commercial success of CFRPs, the volumes in aerospace are relatively limited. Boeing currently has the capacity to produce only two Dreamliners per month and is striving to raise this figure to 10 by the end of 2013,’ says Ross Kozarsky, a Lux Research analyst and the lead author of the report. "In wind, 18,405 MW of capacity were added in the first six months of 2011, which translates to over 1,000 turbines per month."

The combined market for these materials is expected to rise from $7.0 billion this year to $25.8 billion in 2020, reflecting an average compound annual growth rate of 16%.

The full report is available here.

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