Take a look through the keyhole
Even if you should exercise a degree of caution and care when dealing with studies or forecasts, they are nevertheless an important source of inspiration and an indicator. The study THE WORLDWIDE WIND ONSHORE MAINTENANCE MARKET*, which was recently published by the market research company wind:research, has managed to identify the strategic diversity of national service markets with a focus on global maintenance. The key questions are: What trends and participants are expected in the individual countries? Who will get what market shares in the future?
Significant national differences
Compared to other continents, the European wind industry’s rate of growth has declined. Relatively well-developed European markets, such as in Germany, generally show weaker proportional growth and temporarily stagnant characteristics. Other markets, such as Spain and Sweden, have already passed this phase and are picking up again. Not surprisingly, Asia shows strong growth potential, not least due from the rising demand for energy in these regions and increasing environmental concerns. It is particularly interesting to see that individual countries are demonstrating high growth rates as well as strong expansion targets and scenarios. These include for example Chile and Vietnam. Overall, there is some political uncertainty in most markets, including Russia and also the USA.
Derivation on the service market
In terms of their existing maintenance potential, the markets are again more similar than with regard to their potential for expansion. Nevertheless, the market-specifi c circumstances were taken into account in the overall study assessment. These include national parameters such as wind farm sizes, turbine technologies, price levels, competition and many more factors. It can be seen that, especially in Europe, service providers that act independently (ISPs) from manufacturers have become fi rmly established in the service market. In addition, more and more operators in Europe, often utility companies, express confidence that they have the technical expertise to do some of the service work themselves. This trend is not really new and has been observed in markets like the USA for a long time now.
Cooperation leads to better performance
In many countries, it has to be taken into account that the contract holder is not necessarily the same party who actually carries out the work. In the past, the manufacturers (OEMs) often provided their services using a wide variety of subcontractors; these included such work as standard maintenance, rotor blades and campaigns. Nevertheless, some large operators are now also interested in multi-layered cooperation in order to handle the growing demands of their own workload. The advantages of cooperation are evident in wind energy, especially due to the large variety of turbine types, the numerous areas of technical expertise in the turbines and decentralisation. “The results of the study are extremely exciting as they make clear the good position and the range of opportunities for including ISPs in the service markets. Particularly in changing markets, there is a great impetus towards innovative optimisation,” said Matthias Brandt, Board Director at Deutsche Windtechnik.
*Source: The Worldwide Wind Onshore Maintenance Market. Market, competition and perspectives for wind onshore turbines maintenance worldwide: wind:research, February 2019.