Financial management and advisory company, Merrill Lynch have predicted that global wind power will more than likely double to 33 500MW by 2011.
This will add pressure on suppliers to meet supply demand, especially for the US and Asian markets.
While Europe is still the biggest market for wind energy (approximately 65% of total capacity is in Europe), the US and Asian (particularly Indian and China) markets are expected to accelerate their use of wind power.
Market growth went from 42% in 2005, to 30% in 2006 and expected growth for 2007 was approximately 25%.
According to the report, wind power was more suited to large scale roll-out, with the world’s largest solar plant (of a million panels) only generating 40MW, which the largest wind farm generated 780 MW, almost 20 times the capacity of solar.
The biggest problem it would appear however, would be meeting demand, particularly for large bearing and gear boxes. The report notes that the manufacturing industry is already operating at full capacity.
“Most turbine manufacturers appear to have secured component supply for their 2007 needs and the build out of new capacity in gearboxes and bearings has begun but equilibrium is unlikely to be reached before the end of the decade,” it was further noted.
The growth in this industry has, however, seen very few new entrants on the market, with a lack of proven technology and operating track records being sited as a key barrier to entry.