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Wind Turbine Rotor Blade Market to reach $14.6 Billion by 2016

Increasing price of non-renewable energy sources, growing energy consumption especially from emerging countries, pro-wind regulatory environment for wind projects and increase in utility scale wind energy generation farms have put the world at 197 GW installed capacity at the end of 2010. In, 2010, 37.6 MW of wind turbines were installed; mounted with 70,579 blades, valuing market size of $6.8 billion.

Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing market and will grow by 19.3% CAGR during 2011 – 2016. By 2016, The wind rotor blade market in Asia-Pacific will be at $9.1 billion with annual installation of 93,243 blades. The growth of Asia-Pacific is attributed to China, where market is growing in support of internal market drivers such as government support through various subsidies, increasing turbine demand from existing and proposed wind farms, and inexpensive raw material availability. Recently, China has presence of all major blade manufacturers with their facilities in the region. Currently, the country has presence of more than 50 blade manufacturers and most of them are very small with product portfolio of 1 – 3 small size blades.

The blade size of 38 – 50 meter length has the largest market with global market share of 55% during 2010 and will grow to 62% in 2016. Glass fiber composites are the predominantly used materials in modern blades and approximately 0.15 million metric tons of glass fiber was utilized in blade manufacturing during 2010. Carbon fiber is upcoming material usually used in blades sizing more than 45 meters. In 2010, estimated 8,160 metric tons of carbon fiber was used for blade manufacturing; which will increase to as much as 2 million metric tons in 2016 with growth rate of 22.9% CAGR during 2011 – 2016.

Blade testing is very crucial with respect to blade’s reliability during its life cycle and thus creates a market for test facilities. Europe is the most mature market with number of test facilities available in the region. In past few years, blade manufacturing base has shifted from Europe to Asia-Pacific, especially China but Asia-Pacific has the lowest number of test facilities.

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