Wind Turbine Composites Material Market Industry Leaders & New Revenue Pockets & Research Insight

Agreements and expansions are key development strategies adopted by leading players in the wind turbine composite market

The use of composites to develop structural parts of wind turbines is growing due to the increase in demand for high strength, lightweight, corrosion resistive, and durable materials. The wind turbine composite market is projected to reach USD 12.17 billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 9.28% from 2016 to 2021.

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Key companies operating in the wind turbine composite market have adopted various organic and inorganic strategies to strengthen their positions in the market. Between 2011 and 2016, agreements and expansions were the key strategies adopted by industry players in the wind turbine composite market. These strategies accounted for shares of 92.1% and 4.8%, respectively, of all strategies adopted between 2011 and 2016. Market players have concentrated on consolidation through agreements and expansions with the intention of increasing their market shares and enhancing their sustainability.

The major manufacturers of wind turbines profiled in this report are TPI Composites, Inc. (U.S.), MFG Wind (U.S.), LM Wind Power (Denmark), Gamesa Corporation Technology (Spain), Vestas Wind Systems A/S (Denmark), and Suzlon Energy Limited (India), among others. These companies have adopted various organic and inorganic growth strategies such as new product developments, agreements, acquisitions, and expansions to expand their global presence and increase their market shares.

LM Wind Power (Denmark), Gamesa Corporation Technology (Spain), and Vestas Wind Systems A/S (Denmark) are major companies that have accounted for the maximum number of growth strategies between 2011 and 2016 in the wind turbine composite market. Vestas Wind Systems A/S (Denmark) is the world’s largest manufacturer of wind turbine composite materials. The company adopted dynamic growth strategies such as agreements, acquisitions, and expansions to enhance its customer base. For instance, in December 2016, Vestas Wind Systems A/S (Denmark) signed around 50 supply agreements with companies such as MidAmerican Energy Company (U.S.), a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy (U.S.), EDF Energies Nouvelles (France), Datang Renewables (China), Ausines (Spain), Fortum (Finland), Energix Renewable Energies (Israel), and CGN Wind Energy (China), among others to manufacture and supply Vestas wind turbines, each with an energy capacity of 2.0 MW. This has helped Vestas to cater to the increasing demand for composites from the wind energy industry.

TPI Composites, Inc. (U.S.) is one of the leading providers of composite structural parts for wind turbines. The company is an independent manufacturer of composite wind turbine blades based in the U.S. TPI Composites is focused on expansions and signing agreements with different companies to expand its distribution network. For instance, in November 2016, the company entered into a long-term supply agreement with Nordex SE (Germany) to deliver cost competitive and high quality wind turbine blades to Nordex. This development strategy has helped the company increase its market share in the European wind turbine composite market.

Increase in demand for lightweight and high strength composite materials is expected to boost the growth of the wind turbine composite market

The wind turbine market in the Asia-Pacific region is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. This growth is mainly attributed to the increasing demand for lightweight and high strength materials that are used to manufacture various parts of wind turbines. Key countries in this region such as China and Japan, among others, are witnessing a high demand for composites. Presence of established players such as Suzlon Energy Limited (India) and AVIC Huiteng Windpower Equipment Co., Ltd. (China) are also contributing to the growth of the wind turbine composite market in the Asia-Pacific region. These players have adopted agreements, new product launches, and expansions to cater to the increasing demand for composites in the wind energy sector. For instance, in August 2016, Suzlon Energy Limited (India) signed a supply agreement with an independent power producer in India to manufacture, supply, and install wind turbines.

China led the Asia-Pacific wind turbine composite market owing to the maximum number of wind power capacity installations in 2015. Government initiatives such as favorable policies, wind power development programs, government regulations concerning renewable energy, and adjusted feed in tariffs for land-based wind power installations have further boosted the growth of the wind turbine composite market in China.

Composites are used to develop various structural parts of wind turbines, such as blades and nacelles, among others. They are largely used in wind turbine applications due to their superior properties such as high strength-to-weight ratio, durability, and corrosion resistance. There are two major fibers used in the reinforcement of wind turbine composites, such as glass fiber and carbon fiber. The glass fiber segment of the wind turbine composite market is projected to grow at the highest CAGR from 2016 to 2021. Good strength, chemical resistance, and good stiffness offered by glass fibers and their easy availability and cost effectiveness are key factors accelerating the demand for glass fiber composites.

Based on resin type, the epoxy resin segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period, due to its increasing usage in wind turbine applications. It offers high performance and reliability to the structural parts of wind turbines. Epoxy resins have a long shelf life and offers excellent moisture barrier properties when reinforced with fibers. Epoxy resin-based composites can successfully replace traditional materials such as metals in the development of a wide range of primary and secondary components of wind turbines. These factors are expected to drive the growth of the epoxy-based wind turbine composite market in the coming years.

The blades segment is anticipated to be the largest application market of wind turbine composite, as the use of composites provides more structural strength to wind turbine blades in comparison to metallic alloys. The energy efficiency of a turbine depends on the strength-to-weight ratio of wind blades. Lighter the weight of blades and larger the length of blades, higher is the energy produced by wind turbines. This serves to be one of the most significant factors driving the demand for composites in the manufacturing of wind turbine blades.

Various processes such as vacuum injection molding process, prepreg process, and hand lay-up process are used for manufacturing wind turbine composites. These processes offer strong composite laminates, good surface quality, and dimensional tolerance to the wind turbine composites. The wind turbine composite market is driven by vacuum injection molding manufacturing process. The vacuum injection molding process provides easy molding of complex shapes and offers smooth lamination to various composite structural parts of the wind turbine such as blades and nacelles, among others. Among all manufacturing processes, the vacuum injection molding segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR between 2016 and 2021.

Over the last five years, key players in the wind turbine composite market have adopted agreements, new product launches, acquisitions, and expansions to strengthen their geographical presence. Major companies operating in this market include TPI Composites, Inc. (U.S.), MFG Wind (U.S.), LM Wind Power (Denmark), Gamesa Corporation Technology (Spain), Vestas Wind Systems A/S (Denmark), and Suzlon Energy Limited (India), among others.

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