Jul 22, 2015

Wind Turbine O&M Expenditures Will Hit $17 Billion by 2020

Global expenditures for wind turbine operations and maintenance (O&M) will reach $17 billion by 2020, from $9.25 billion in 2014, according to report from consultancy GlobalData.

According to GlobalData, an aging turbine fleet and a preponderance of offshore wind installations are the catalysts for the rise.

The report, "Global Wind Turbine Operations & Maintenance Market, Update 2015 - Market Size, Major Contenders, Trends, and Analysis to 2020," finds that offshore wind O&M is two to four times more expensive than its onshore counterpart. Offshore wind power accounted for about 2.4% of the world's cumulative wind power capacity in 2014 but accounts for approximately 10% of the global wind O&M market.

Because it contributes to value creation, increases turbine availability and boosts returns, wind farm O&M is critical, according to Harshavardhan Reddy Nagatham, GlobalData's analyst covering power.

"Regular O&M reduces the downtime of a turbine and optimizes electricity generation, which leads to an increase in revenue," he says. "In optimal conditions, O&M activity guarantees a useful life of 20 years for a wind farm, which is further extended through improvements and adaptations during the later years of its lifecycle.

"A wind farm's O&M costs account for 10 percent to 15 percent of the total cost of power generation in an onshore wind farm and 25 percent in an offshore wind farm. Offshore wind maintenance is more expensive as it requires specialists to lift and install components during repairs and general maintenance, while accessibility for scheduled O&M work can be hampered by harsh weather conditions."

Nagatham adds that while the onshore wind O&M market was valued at over nine times that of its offshore equivalent in 2014, the offshore arena is set to expand at a much faster rate over the forecast period.

"The global onshore wind O&M market is forecast to grow in value from $8.34 billion in 2014 to $13.43 billion by 2020, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.2 percent.

"However, the offshore wind O&M market value will increase at a rapid CAGR of 26 percent, from an estimated $0.91 billion in 2014 to $3.57 billion by 2020, boosting its share from 9.8 percent to 21 percent."

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