The global wind turbine rotor blade market size was valued at USD 19.9 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 38.14 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 8.97% during the forecast period (2023–2031). The exponential growth in the global blade market is supported by depleting fossil fuel reserves, declining cost of wind power generation, growing sensitivity toward environmental issues, and support from various governments worldwide through financial incentives.
A wind turbine is an object that transforms the wind's kinetic energy into electrical energy. A wind turbine rotor blade is an essential airfoil-shaped component designed to produce electricity by converting kinetic energy to torque via aerodynamic forces around a central center. It typically comprises three blades in a structure with a tip-speed ratio (TSR) that provides minimal inertia and optimal mechanical strength.
Wind turbine rotor blades assist in sweeping and capturing more area and wind, allowing for quicker tip turns and transforming this energy into rotary motions. These characteristics make it useful for sailing and producing renewable energy in a variety of onshore and offshore environments. Wind turbine motors are currently available in various blade shapes, inclination angles, configurations, and capacities.
|Market Size||USD 38.14 billion by 2031|
|Fastest Growing Market||North America|
|Largest Market||Asia Pacific|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
The increasing investments in wind power projects have been providing a significant boost to the growth of the wind power sector, thus increasing the demand for the wind turbine blade market globally. The new installations in the onshore wind market added 86.9 GW, while the offshore wind market added 6.1 GW to the cumulative installed wind capacity. The substantial increase in 2020 was driven by the significant rise in the world's largest wind power markets, China and the United States.
Furthermore, as per the U.S. Department of Energy, several offshore wind power projects are in various stages of development in the country. For instance, as of May 2021, more than 9.8 GW of wind capacity projects in New York and more than 2GW in North Carolina are in the planning phase. In addition, major wind power projects in the permitting stage include 4.3 GW in New York, 1.1 GW in Connecticut, and 1.1 GW in New Jersey, likely creating a considerable demand for wind turbine blades during the forecast period.
The long-term goal adopted by 186 countries at the Paris Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP21) was to eliminate all emissions from the energy sector by 2050. This strengthens the position of wind energy, as wind and solar power will supply a significant portion of renewable energy. The United States and China are the largest renewable energy producers in the world.
Given its emission-free nature, wind energy is expected to significantly impact supporting the two nations in fulfilling their COP21 obligations. This is expected to significantly enhance the sales of wind turbine rotor blades in the next few years.
The wind power sector faces challenges from alternate sources of clean power generation, mainly natural gas and solar power. The demand for wind energy is expected to decline as more people use gas and solar energy, both cleaner energy production forms. Several governments worldwide have formulated favorable policies to drive solar and gas power infrastructures.
For instance, in December 2020, the federal government of the United States extended the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which provides a 26% tax credit for solar PV systems installed in 2020-2022 and a 22% tax credit for systems established in 2023. Such efforts by the government are expected to increase the implementation of solar PV projects, restraining the market growth.
The wind energy cost has registered a significant decline in the past decade. Over the years, the global weighted average cost of electricity of the onshore wind projects between 2010 and 2020 declined by 56%, from USD 0.089/kWh to USD 0.039/kWh, as average capacity factors rose from 27% to 36%. The total installed costs experienced a decrease from USD 1,971 per kilowatt (kW) to USD 1,355 per kilowatt (kW).
Furthermore, modern turbines feature 80-meter towers and 100-meter rotor diameters, big enough to sweep an area 50% larger than an average football field. It reduces the cost incurred by setting large numbers of wind turbines with small capacities, thereby helping reduce the cost/MW of wind energy. Hence, the declining cost of wind energy is expected to drive the adoption of wind turbines, which is expected to create opportunities for the wind turbine blade market during the projection period.
Based on region, the global wind turbine rotor blade market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant global wind turbine rotor blade market shareholder and is expected to expand substantially over the forecast period. Asia-Pacific is among the largest regions in the global market, with India, China, Japan, and other nations accounting for the majority of demand. China has recognized that wind energy technology offers an effective method of supplying electricity to rural and remote areas ever since the modern wind turbine generator (WTG) was created in 1891. As a result of policy reforms, dedicated R&D initiatives, new financing mechanisms, and clear objectives in the most recent Five-Year Plans, China's installed wind capacity has increased from 4 MW in 1990 to 281.9 GW by the end of 2020. China's installed capacity and new capacity in 2020 are, by a wide margin, the largest in the world.
In addition, IRENA predicts that China will continue to dominate the onshore wind power sector with more than fifty percent of global installations by 2050. The country's large population and high electricity demand are also expected to foster wind energy development. With the assistance of federal and provincial governments across the country, numerous multinational corporations, including Chinese firms, are investing in this sector, fueling market growth.
North American region is expected to grow moderately over the projection period. The US government has been emphasizing increasing the wind capacity, primarily due to environmental benefits. Operating wind projects avoided 319 million metric tons of CO2 in 2020, equivalent to 69 million cars worth of emissions in the United States. As of 2020, hydropower generation's contribution to renewable energy has been high in the country. However, with the country's rapidly growing wind power capacity, wind power will likely surpass the hydropower share. As of 2020, only two offshore wind power plants were operating in the country, with a combined installed capacity of only 42 MW. However, the falling cost of the turbine and the overall project cost are projected to augment the offshore wind power segment's expansion, increasing the demand for global market.
Europe is anticipated to have significant expansion in the global market in the coming years due to the increasing utilization of technologically advanced wind turbines in nations like Germany and the UK and the favorable environmental circumstances in these countries. Moreover, in 2018, the United Kingdom generated a total financing activity of EUR 5.9 billion to construct new onshore and offshore wind farms. The investment accounts for 22% of Europe's total wind energy investments. Similarly, like Germany and the United Kingdom, France is also seeking to develop its offshore wind power market. The country is well-suited for floating wind power due to strong and stable winds in the deeper sea, off its coasts. Hence, the wind power market is expected to be positive during the forecast period, leading to the growth in demand for the global market.
Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia were South America's largest wind turbine rotor blade markets. Nearly every country in the region has relatively new wind installations, and the majority of turbines were installed within the last decade, with several still under warranty. Due to its enormous potential, private firms across the Americas are interested in investing in the South American region. For instance, in May 2021, Omega Energia and Vestas agreed to work together to develop the 212 MW Assuruá 4 project in Bahia, Brazil, located in Gentio do Ouro and Xique-Xique. These projects would increase the region's demand for wind turbine rotor blades.
The global wind turbine rotor blade market is segmented by location of deployment and blade material.
Based on the location of deployment, the global market is bifurcated into onshore and offshore.
The onshore segment dominates the global market. In the past five years, onshore wind energy power generation technology has evolved to maximize electricity production per megawatt installed capacity and cover more locations with lower wind speeds. Wind turbines have become larger in recent years, with taller hub heights, wider diameters, and larger wind turbine blades; as per the Global Wind Energy Council, global onshore wind turbine capacity additions will reach 86.9 GW in 2020, an increase of 59.1% from 2019. China's high investments in renewable energy were responsible for the explosive growth. In addition, the increasing investments in several major nations, including China, the United States, and India, are anticipated to expedite market demand during the forecast period. The rotor blade of onshore wind turbines is anticipated to increase during the forecast period due to the declining LCOE, reduced CAPEX, and the high energy demand from clean sources.
Rotor blades are the largest rotating component of a wind turbine, and offshore wind turbines are exposed to various severe weather conditions, including extreme heat, cold, and precipitation. Offshore rotor blades are designed differently to withstand damages such as extremely strong winds and fatigue, and the offshore rotor blades market is anticipated to expand as offshore wind turbine installation rises over the forecast period. In addition, innovations such as floating substructure technology have been developed to maximize power generation, reduce costs, and improve the economic availability of offshore wind turbines, which will directly benefit the market over the forecast period. Overall, the offshore wind turbine rotor blade market is anticipated to expand in the coming years due to the expansion of offshore wind projects and the declining cost of offshore wind projects due to technological advances.
Based on blade material, the global market is divided into carbon fiber, glass fiber, and other blade materials.
The glass fiber segment owns the highest market share. Currently, glass fiber reinforced plastics (GRP), which are glass fiber reinforced polyester or epoxy, make up the majority of the rotor blades on large wind turbines. Glass fibers have higher density and are, therefore, heavier than carbon fibers. Glass is an inexpensive material to use, especially when compared to other popular-use composite materials, such as carbon or aramid fibers. Moreover, glass fiber exhibits a resistance to corrosion that is not observed in metals. Therefore, it requires less maintenance and is a more cost-effective overall solution. These are the significant advantages of wind turbines since they are constantly exposed to the elements on land and at sea. In addition, glass fiber represents the primary material in wind turbine blades. The glass fiber raw materials are mostly available in multiple geographic regions and reasonably near the manufacturing facilities.
The global carbon fibers and composites market has grown steadily since 2009. Low-cost carbon fiber materials, which offer reduced weight and better performance, have also witnessed increased demand for rotor blade manufacturing, particularly in offshore waters. The electrical output of each wind turbine is a quadratic function of its rotor diameter, and thus, manufacturers are under pressure to develop longer and lighter rotor blades. In addition, carbon fiber is the best option for constructing longer and lighter rotors. One of the main factors boosting wind power's competitiveness and turbine efficiency in recent years has been the adoption of carbon fiber composites.
Carbon fiber has proven to be an enabling technology for turbine manufacturers, such as Vestas Wind Systems A/S and Gamesa Technology Corp. Carbon fiber's superior strength and higher stiffness offer many advantages over glass fiber, but its higher cost per volume is a prominent barrier to further deployment in the wind power industry.