Depleting fossil fuel reserves and mounting concerns over climate change have encouraged countries worldwide to switch to cleaner energy sources like wind energy. Considered as one of the preferred renewable energy sources, wind energy has a myriad of benefits over other energy alternatives. Wind energy plants are sustainable, cost-efficient and require less area as well as generate more energy in comparison to solar power plants. Rampant investments in the renewable energy sector has given a considerable boost to the development of new wind energy farms. It is estimated that the wind energy market may record an annual installation of over 120 GW by 2027.
Ongoing technological advancements in the manufacturing sector has helped lower overall production cost of wind turbines. Establishment of new wind energy farms across remote locations could meanwhile accelerate the demand for advanced wind turbines. This budding requirement may consequently encourage component manufacturers to increase investments in R&D activities to enhance efficiency of the overall wind energy plants. Some of these manufacturers include Siemens, Suzlon, MHI Vestas, Sinovel Wind Group Co., Ltd., EOLINK, and Goldwind amongst others.
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Let’s look at some of the emerging trends in the wind energy industry:
Offshore v/s onshore wind energy farms
Offshore wind energy farms are capable of generating more energy in contrast to onshore wind farms given to the availability of higher and more consistent wind speeds at sea. Wind turbine manufacturers are putting in efforts to enhance their product’s overall efficiency and life cycle. While energy companies are coming up with better ways to support installation of wind turbines across offshore sites. In 2021, Ørsted, the global leader in offshore wind, and Enefit, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on a vision to jointly move towards constructing the first offshore wind farm in the Gulf of Riga by 2030. Escalating energy requirement across coastal regions and lack of availability of land for constructing onshore wind farms may incite installation of offshore wind farms, further influencing offshore wind energy market.
Awareness regarding benefits of clean energy
Concerns over climate change has encouraged governments worldwide to adopt renewable technology to meet local energy demands. Establishment of new wind parks near urban settlements may help satiate energy needs as well as supplement the shift towards cleaner energy sources. In 2021, Detroit-based diversified energy company, DTE Energy commenced operations of three new Michigan wind parks, bolstering the company’s clean energy offerings by over 400 MW. The company also indicated plans to build another six clean energy projects and power approximately 670,000 homes by 2022. The acceptance of wind energy in the residential sector could be favored by supportive government policies and growing disposable income among consumers.
Strict regulations over carbon footprint
Government across regions like North America have introduced strict regulations to curb overall carbon footprint. Soaring energy requirement across the commercial and industrial sector have necessitated the shift to affordable and cleaner energy sources like solar and wind energy. Rapid technological advancements and growing demand for sustainable energy technologies could support the construction of new wind farms in North America. Development of such wind projects will also offer employment for masses across the region. According to the Wind Vision Report, wind has the potential to support over 600,000 jobs in installation, manufacturing, maintenance, and supporting services by the year 2050. While the U.S. wind sector currently employs over 100,000 workers, with wind turbine technicians being one of the fastest growing jobs in the country.
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