The Global Wind turbine bearings market has been estimated at USD 3.3 billion in 2015 and is projected to reach USD 7.8 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 17.7% during the forecast period from 2015 to 2020.
Wind power generation has been a proven technology and emits no carbon dioxide. It has gained widespread acceptance as the cleanest and most environmentally friendly form of energy. The increasing reliability of the system, especially the wind turbine while reducing the operating expenditure remains as a challenge in wind power industry. Bearings are one of the most important components of wind turbines and require designs that optimize reliability and economic efficiency while taking into account the characteristics of the applications. Bearings are to be designed using advanced computer simulation with a deep knowledge of materials and heat treatment. In addition, sometimes test evaluations are also required before putting them in operation. Bearings in wind turbines are subjected to extreme operational environments in terms of temperature, load fluctuation, maintenance access and lubricant optimization. As rotor diameters increase, the bearings becomes even more critical.
The end users of Wind turbine bearings can be categorized into three segments, namely, Industrial, commercial and residential. Industrial can be further subdivided into Power generation, agriculture, Industrial automation, engineering and telecommunication. Most important usage of Wind turbine bearings is its industrial application. And accounts for more than 90% share of global Wind turbine bearings market in 2015.
This market is driven by a number of factors, such as the large number of ongoing projects and innovations in the Wind power generation sector along with the growing demand for efficient wind turbine components. Especially the growth in emerging economies in Asia-pacific with India and China being the key drivers. However, wind turbine bearing market faces certain drawbacks, such as high initial investments, complex manufacturing methods and with a few ecological concerns of wind power such as land use and wildlife habitat. These factors may act as a roadblock to the growth of the market.
This market can be broadly segmented into Small (1-120 KW), Medium (121-1000 KW), Large (1-3 MW) and other, based on its power plant’s installed capacity. In this report market is broadly segmented into Onshore and offshore. Also the segmentation was done based on its application: Gearbox into Spherical roller bearings, Cylindrical Roller Bearing, Metric Tapers, Radial Bearings, Angular Contact Bearings; rotor shaft into spherical, cylindrical and tapered; generator into deep groove ball bearing and cylindrical roller bearings; pitch and yaw into Slewing Ring Bearings, deep groove ball bearings, Plain bearings. Bearing technology has applications in various machinery but it becomes a vital component in Wind turbine functioning.
The market has also been geographically segmented into North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America, with North America occupying the largest consumer base in the world. Europe and APAC follow the list in the same order. The federal wind energy policy has also made this region an area of immense potential and opportunities. However, the price sensitivity in this region has considerably hindered the growth of this market.
The market has more relevance today since trends show that governments’ policies are being more encouraging about clean technology. This technology is specially inclined for the countries with goals of eliminating fossil fuel energy. The major companies dominating this market for its products, services, and continuous product developments are ZWZ, ZYS Luoyang LYC Bearing, Zhejiang Tianma Bearing, DYZV, SKF Sweden, TIMKEN, Xibei Bearing, Rothe Erde, NSK, Schaeffler Group, Rollix, Kaydon etc,.
The current trends in mergers and acquisitions indicate that the smaller companies are acquiring the bigger ones for higher innovations by utilizing their core competencies. The technology offers a huge potential of change in improving the efficiency of wind turbines and also promote clean energy.