In the recent years wind farms have become one of the key sources of power generation globally due to growing awareness and stringent governmental regulations. Wind turbines are the vital components of wind farms that aids in power generation thereby converting kinetic energy of wind to electrical energy. Therefore, the reliability of wind turbine system is one of the major factors playing a crucial role in the success of wind energy projects. Poor reliability of turbines can affect directly to project’s revenue and can reduce the availability to generate power due to turbine downtime. Poor reliability can also lead to increased operational and maintenance cost of the project. Therefore, wind turbine maintenance is an essential tool to increase the profitability and life time of the project. Globally, huge investments are taking place in the renewable energy projects, for both onshore and offshore, this is turning out to be one of the major factors fuelling the demand for wind turbine maintenance service sector. Maintenance cost of wind turbines accounts for approximately 20% of total project’s cost that holds the interest of major service industries into this sector.
Different types of cost constituted in wind turbine maintenance market are insurance cost, regular maintenance cost, repair cost, spare part cost and administration cost. Some of these cost components can be approximated relatively at ease. For regular maintenance and insurance cost, it is possible for a company to obtain a contract covering all considerable share of total lifetime of wind turbines. Whereas, it is difficult to estimate the spare part and repairing cost of the wind turbines. The wind turbine maintenance is one of the key requirements for the successful implementation of wind power generation project. Reduction of maintenance cost can lead a project towards profitability that is possible by some planning such as development of logistics plan, identification of opportunity for redundancy, improvement in training and maintainability and implementation of condition monitoring (SCADA).
China is the one of the world’s largest market for wind power generation with the capacity of 100 GW of wind energy that has nearly 65,000 wind turbines installed. China has planned for enhancing the power generation capacity by adding approximately 30 more wind turbines by 2017. Therefore, this is expected to bolster the demand of wind turbine maintenance services in China. Additionally, India, Australia and Japan are few countries that are expected to be one of the lucrative opportunities owing to new projects in the coming four to five years. Wind turbine maintenance market is probable to grow rapidly over the forecast period. Regionally, Europe is the key region in wind power generation that includes Germany, Spain and the U.K. as prominent with significant opportunities and strong government supportive schemes. Denmark, France, Italy, Portugal and Sweden are the countries with potential aspirations in wind power generation that is substantiated by increased demand for wind turbine maintenance services. South America, Middle East and Africa are lagging in wind energy projects due to the adequate availability of other resources for power generation; however, Brazil is expected to witness probable demand owing to the growing demand for electricity in the region. The U.S. leads North American wind power generation and is one of the largest wind turbine maintenance service providers.
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The growth in the number of wind farms for power generation is a prominent driving factor for wind turbine maintenance market. Increasing governmental regulation for environmental benefit is anticipated to augment the development of new wind farms that is expected to flourish wind turbine maintenance market in strategic locations. Turbine maintenance adds some cost to the total wind power generation project expenses that leads to the negligence of maintenance process sometimes. However, increasing awareness of the complete process requirement, many companies are investing in the maintenance of the wind turbines. Some new projects coming up in the strategic locations shall turn out to be potential opportunities for wind turbine maintenance market.
Some of the major service provider companies are DNV GL AS., Upwind Solutions, Aeronautica WindPower, EcoEnergy LLC, Baywinds, Invenergy and Orion International Consulting Group, LLC.