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Published: 27 December 2016 27 December 2016

The wind energy market continues to mature as onshore turbines pursue evolutionary technology, while dramatic technology shifts remain focused on offshore turbines. Turbines have grown larger, more productive, cost-effective and reliable due to technology investments. The next decade will bring further change, but the role of technology has shifted as the industry continues to evolve and work towards LCOE grid parity.

Differences in regional demand preferences are forcing many turbine OEMs to pursue platform-based wind turbine solutions that enable mass customisation to meet local needs, while providing scale to serve the global market. Wind energy is nearing the critical point of grid parity in many markets, where LCOE is competitive with traditional forms of thermal power generation.

Despite long product cycles, offshore wind defines the innovation horizon, as the most radical technological approaches continue to be applied to this segment. The 10+ MW turbines that will be introduced over the coming years are stretching the limits of traditional technologies, as these turbines require  game-changing technologies in order to deliver a cost-effective turbine with reliability to withstand the offshore environment. Every component must be effectively re-engineered at this scale, resulting in dramatically different drivetrains, rotor systems and power electronics.

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