A photo of an offshore wind farm with a part of a coverter station visible on the right

Wind Turbine Prices Poised to Go Up – Wood Mackenzie

Wind turbine prices are expected to increase by up to ten per cent over the next 12 to 18 months due to increases in commodity prices, logistics costs, and coronavirus-related challenges, according to a new analysis from Wood Mackenzie.

Illustration; Photo source: The Carbon Trust

As noted in a recent Wood Mackenzie report, a rise in steel, copper, aluminium, and fibre prices, coupled with a four-fold increase in logistics costs, have increased turbine prices over the last six months.

Wood Mackenzie expects this trend to continue for the next four to five quarters.

”Turbine OEMs and component suppliers face a double whammy of cost increases and demand softening over the coming two years due to the US PTC (Production Tax Credit) and China feed-in-tariff (FiT) phase-outs,” Shashi Barla, Wood Mackenzie Principal Analyst, said.

”Despite this rise in costs, we expect turbine prices to return to normal levels by the end of 2022.”

With the US-China trade tussle not showing any signs of improving, turbine OEMs are facing further cost pressures, Wood Mackenzie said. This has forced the likes of Vestas, Siemens Gamesa, and Nordex to explore alternative supply hubs, such as India.

”The ‘India for India’ and ‘India for Global’ supply chain strategies are encouraging leading turbine component suppliers to follow their turbine OEM customers into the Asia-Pacific nation,” Barla said.

”As expected, demand increases in India have failed to materialise, therefore allowing OEMs and suppliers to leverage excess production capacity to serve export markets cost-effectively. As OEMs continue to manufacture the latest generation turbines in India, component suppliers are expanding within the market to produce components closer to their clients’ nacelle factories.”

According to Wood Mackenzie, as market conditions continue to evolve, OEMs and turbine suppliers must adopt next-generation technologies and materials because supply chain bottlenecks for important materials will emerge over the next four to five years.

”If the capacity of critical capital components and raw materials does not expand over the next two years, the wind turbine industry will encounter supply constraints that could pose issues for country-level decarbonisation targets,” Barla said

”Offshore nacelle capacity, carbon fibres, pultrusions, permanent magnet generators, large diameter main shaft bearings, gearbox bearings, semi-conductors, and specialised castings are at risk of future shortages.”