Wind is one the fastest-growing energy sources in the world. With the accelerating electricity consumption and increasing threat from the green-house effect and consequential environmental degradation, all the industries are stepping forward into the reduction of energy consumption and loss of energy. Though increasing the energy production will meet the demand but it will lead to increased strain on non-renewable energy sources and hence the environment. Commercially more than 80 countries are now utilizing the wind energy for electricity-generation. Technological developments have made it possible for more effective and reliable equipment and machinery, which has resulted in the growth of the wind energy market.
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Traditionally the electricity generation from wind energy was made possible by gearbox-operated wind turbines. In the gearbox-operated wind turbines, the shaft is connected through a gearbox to the generator. This makes the gearbox as the highest-maintenance part of a wind turbine, as it consists of multiple wheels and bearings; due to which it suffers from tremendous stress because of wind turbulence. Any defect in a single component can halt the functioning of the wind turbine. In offshore turbines, the gearboxes have to withstand faster wind speeds; making it even more vulnerable than those in onshore turbines. Technically, removal of the gearbox from the wind turbine will eliminate the most complicated part of the machine. This will result in improved reliability by cutting downtime and repair costs; which is an especially important consideration for offshore turbines, where it’s quite expensive to send technicians for the maintenance. But using direct drive instead of a gearbox system has its own challenges namely cost and weight concerns.
Wind turbine manufacturers have been finding out ways to make direct drive wind turbines competitive with gearbox-operated wind turbines. Direct drive wind turbines is gaining significance due to its design, which is less complex than the gearbox technology, leading to easier operations and maintenance. This appeal has made direct drive especially favorable for use in offshore applications.
Direct Drive Wind Turbine Market: Drivers & Restraints
Depleting fossil fuel reserves, growing environmental sensitivity, declining cost of wind power generation and financial support from various governments across the globe, and growing concern for energy conservation are the key factors driving the growth of direct drive wind turbine market.
Wind farms are capital-intensive projects which require substantial investments. These projects can only be financed by large utilities and investment groups. Shortage of skilled labor and initial cost of installation constrains the growth of direct drive wind turbine market.
Direct Drive Wind Turbine Market: Segmentation
The global direct drive wind turbine market is broadly classified on the basis of generator’s mode of operation, wind turbine capacity and geographies.
On the basis of generator’s mode of operation, the direct drive wind turbine market is segmented into:
- Permanent magnet synchronous generator
- Electrically excited synchronous generator
On the basis of capacity, the direct drive wind turbine market is segmented into:
- Small-sized direct drive wind turbine
- Mid-sized direct drive wind turbine
- Large-sized direct drive wind turbine
Direct Drive Wind Turbine Market: Overview
US, Germany, China, Spain and India collectively account for more than 50% share of the global installed base. Emerging markets like Asia Pacific and Eastern Europe will gain considerable market share during the forecast period. Latin America is a nascent market.
Rapid technological advancements, improvements in the generator technology along with the strong economic growth and governmental initiatives will lead the direct drive wind turbine market to expand at a robust CAGR during the forecast period (2015-2025).
Direct Drive Wind Turbine Market: Region-wise Outlook
The direct drive wind turbine market is expected to register a double-digit CAGR for the forecast period. Depending on geographic regions, direct drive wind turbine market is segmented into seven key regions: North America, South America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Asia Pacific, Japan, and Middle East & Africa. As of 2015, North America and Western Europe dominated the direct drive wind turbine market in terms of market revenue. Asia Pacific & Japan are projected to expand at a substantial growth and will contribute to the direct drive wind turbine market value exhibiting a robust CAGR during the forecast period, 2015-2025.
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Direct Drive Wind Turbine Market: Key Players
Some of the key market players in direct drive wind turbine market are Siemens AG, General Electric, Rockwell Automation Inc, Bachmann electronic GmbH and ABB.