- Published: 24 October 2014 24 October 2014
Driven by increasing annual installations, the global capacity of wind turbines using gearboxes is set to rise from approximately 27GW in 2013 to 44.7GW by 2020, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.
The company’s report, Wind Turbine Gearbox and Direct-Drive Systems 2014 Update, states that China overtook the USA in 2009 to become the largest wind power market globally in terms of annual capacity additions, and has since taken the lead in wind turbine deployment. Wind power installations in China have registered strong growth in the recent past and have subsequently driven demand for gearboxes in the country. As a result, China’s capacity of wind turbines using gearboxes will rise from 11.4GW in 2013 to 14.2GW by 2020. The number of gearboxes installed in China rose more than eightfold from 846 units in 2006 to 6,839 in 2013, although this figure will decline to 4,613 units by 2020. This is due to increasing turbine sizes that will reduce the requirement for gearboxes. However the large amount of turbine gearbox capacities installed in China between 2006 and 2010 will drive a substantial requirement for refurbishment activities after 2016, causing the country’s gearbox refurbishment market to increase from 1.5GW in 2013 to 23.7GW by 2020. GlobalData’s report also states that as a result of increasing gearbox failures, global wind turbine manufacturers, such as Siemens and GE, are moving towards permanent, magnet direct-drive turbines. China boasts a large number of direct-drive manufacturers, including Xinjiang Goldwind and XEMC Windpower. These companies will also help to expand the country’s wind turbine direct-drive systems market by 2020, which grew from 0.4GW of installed capacity in 2006 to 4.7GW in 2013.