The wind turbine materials market is bifurcated into structural and non-structural materials. The structural materials market is further divided into metals, Fiber-Reinforced Composites (FRC) and core material, whereas the non-structural materials market includes Protective Coatings (PRC), Adhesives and Sealants (AES), and Lubricants, Greases, and Coolants (LGC). The segmentation has been provided for each material for different wind turbine components, including rotor, tower, and others. The major application areas are onshore and offshore.
The consumption of structural materials is expected to be huge, as they provide structural integrity or stiffness to the wind turbine, while minimizing its overall weight. The market for non-structural materials is likely to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period, both in terms of value and volume. These materials protect the turbines from corrosion and weathering, thereby, enhancing the longevity of the components and ensuring their reliable functioning.
The onshore segment contributed to the largest share of the wind turbine materials market in 2019 and is expected to continue its dominance during the forecast period, largely due to lower deployment costs and better infrastructure of onshore wind turbines compared to their offshore counterparts. However, with growing energy demand and depletion of fossil fuels, government authorities worldwide have been also increasing their focus on the offshore segment, which, in turn, will significantly drive the growth of the associated materials during the forecast period.
The overall consumption of wind turbine materials in India is anticipated to register high growth during the forecast period. This is largely due to strong economic development, coupled with industrialization activities, which results in a strong demand for renewable energy alternatives in the country. Rest of Asia-Pacific (RAPAC) accounted for the largest share in the wind turbine materials market in 2019 and is expected to continue its dominance during the forecast period. Increasing urbanization and demographic growth, along with favorable government policies for scaling up wind capacity installations, are largely responsible for driving the demand for wind turbine materials for both onshore and offshore applications in the region. The Middle East and Rest of the World (RoW) are expected to be the two fastest growing markets for wind turbine materials, with increasing government spending and implementation of long-term goals related to wind energy deployment in these regions.
The market for wind turbine materials in North America and Europe is already at a mature stage. However, increasing incidences of climate change along with subsequent global warming in these regions is expected to boost the growth in consumption of wind turbine materials, majorly for offshore applications.
Regulatory authorities, such as US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), enforce regulations against emission of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) from coatings, adhesives, and other non-structural materials. Chemicals with low VOC content are being increasingly selected by wind turbine manufacturers based on the need to adhere to these standards.
However, scarcity of infrastructure for wind energy transmission and uncertain government policies and improper control on wind energy incentives and tariff rates pose threats for the wind turbine materials market.
Owing to the complexity of the production process and severity of the application areas, the market for a majority of the wind turbine materials is highly consolidated with strong presence of brands having excellent manufacturing expertise. However, price competition prevails for metals, including steel, owing to their commoditized nature, which attracts numerous medium- and small-scale suppliers across the globe.
Rather than developing alternate chemistries, manufacturers of structural and non-structural materials focus on improving existing technologies in terms of reducing curing times and usage of materials while also imparting higher processing ability and strength-to-weight ratio. These factors, in turn, help companies to develop cost-effective materials with advanced features, such as lighter weight and higher load-withstanding capability, among others. Moreover, leading companies are set to strengthen their market share by vertical integration, partnerships or Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), and improving customer collaboration.