11 Jul 2012 09:07:44
Demand on the rise for aftermarket wind turbine components
"Warranty periods for a turbine sold today will typically start around the 20 year mark. Wind Turbine OEM’s have made a strategic decision to focus on the aftercare market and the smartest ones are setting themselves up to seize a dominant market share within the next 6 to 12 months," said Tom Evans, managing director, Wind Energy Update.
New turbine installations continue to come online, not quite at the peak levels of 2009 but with the European offshore and North American offshore industries ramping up, local authority bodies equipped better to handle wind farm applications and the everlasting push from governments to wean themselves off fossil fuel dependence new wind installations continue to come online.
Added to the new installation market is the exponential growth of the out of warranty turbines which is proving to be more lucrative than many analysts predicted. The raw materials used in wind turbine components such as iron, copper, concrete and composites have suffered price highs and lows due to the economic conditions, as well as sustained demand from China's aggressive building.
However the advances in pre-assembled components, on site and remote turbine monitoring and a progressive build-up of operational data has meant that site operators now have a strong understanding of what to keep in their inventory and when. The knock on impact of this new data and owners desire to maximise the energy yield, is that turbine OEMs are keen to have an aftercare supply chain that is flexible, responsive and cost conscious.
The widely regarded think tank Wind Energy Update addresses the wind turbine supply chain annually at their German based conference. Alongside the topics du jour, market analysis, trend prediction and most beneficially for attendees, commercial impacts are covered in an environment tailored for optimal learning and networking.
This year the core theme centres on partnerships across the supply chain from turbine OEMs to Tier 1, tier 2 and tier3 component suppliers. Understanding the benefits to preassembled component partnerships and advances in factory to POA logistics will allow for better profit margins.
With involvement from wind industry experts including Vattenfall, REPower, Areva, RES and GE to name a selection this event offers current information from credible sources.
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