Fairfield Market Research Direct Drive Wind Turbine Market Analysis and Outlook 2030

Direct Drive Wind Turbine Market

Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2023-2030 - By Product, Technology, Grade, Application, End-user, Region: (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East and Africa)

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Industry: Energy & Natural Resources


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The global market for direct-drive wind turbines recently registered a valuation of around 14.6 billion US dollars in 2022 and is poised to witness much more growth in the coming years.

Market Overview

Direct drive wind turbines, known by their popular name, "gearless wind turbines," can be easily defined through their function. This wind turbine technology doesn't require a gearbox to generate the optimal energy to power industries or residential areas.

The factor that makes direct drive wind turbines popular is their use of a permanent magnetic or synchronous generator. While in traditional wind turbines, a gearbox is placed between the rotor and generator to turn the low-speed rotation of the blades into the required speed.

Here, the rotor is connected to a low-speed, high-torque generator that can handle its speed. This allows for the elimination of the gearbox altogether. With lesser parts, the costs are lowered, and maintenance needs are also reduced. Moreover, these turbines are a lot lighter than traditional ones.

The turbines have immense potential for offshore applications. This is one of the reasons the global market for direct drive wind turbines is expected to reach 18.3 billion US dollars in 2032, with a CAGR of 16.2% in the decade between 2022 and 2032.

Key Findings

  • Direct drive wind turbines are one of the most valuable investments today, with a market valuation of around 14.6 billion US dollars in 2022 and a potential valuation of 18.3 billion US dollars by 2032. This is due to the rising demand for renewable energy and the efficiency of the direct drive wind turbine system.
  • The current market for direct drive wind turbines is boosted by a long-term cost reduction with a lack of need for regular maintenance. Moreover, multiple offshore and onshore applications exist for direct drive wind turbines.
  • Direct drive wind turbines are boosted by their potential to fix older turbines, present more efficient wind energy production solutions to parts of the world, and reap the benefits of new-age technology.
  • It is getting hard for direct drive wind turbines to maintain efficiency as the installation cost can sometimes outweigh the benefits. Moreover, multiple practical issues like transportation struggles aren't easy to ignore. On top of that, investors need to consider whether another wind turbine system will enter the market and overpower direct drive wind turbines in the near future.
  • The production and invention of direct drive wind turbines have spread to the entire globe. There are many companies actively working on these turbines worldwide. However, it is important to encourage these developments as the bigger they are, the more the potential for reduced cost and increased innovative solutions for the challenges.

Market Drivers

The Question of Cost in the Long Term

Direct drive wind turbines are ideal for investors hoping to avoid long-term costs. For these new-age turbines, the installation cost may be higher than that for traditional turbines. However, they are much more ideal in the long run.

The initial cost for direct drive turbines includes the generator and materials needed for its infrastructure. Yet, in the long run, gearbox maintenance, and replacement costs can be avoided altogether. Plus, the increased efficiency can lower costs for businesses.

The Offshore Applications

Offshore installations are becoming increasingly difficult to manage. Maintaining an offshore wind turbine is a lot harder than an onshore one. Offshore environments present enough accessibility challenges for engineers without the added responsibility of maintenance.

In the case of wind turbines, reliability is a crucial factor, and it is one that direct drive wind turbines meet. With the rapid expansion of the wind industry, this comes as a savior in disguise.

Market Opportunities

The Boost for Existing Wind Farms

Recently, many of the initial wind farms have started to get worn out. As they head towards the final stages of their operational life, owners of these wind farms begin to consider other options. One such option is repowering these wind farms through direct drive turbines.

Replacing the older gears with the new generators for these wind farms can save the initial investment cost and preserve older wind farms. It can also extend their lives and lead to better performance.

The Introduction of New Markets

Renewable energy used to be popular only in some regions of the world. However, the increase in awareness and rise in global warming has pushed many regions worldwide to consider investing in renewable energy for a better future.

Sustainable energy has encouraged people to invest in direct drive wind turbines to meet the growing demand for energy and preserve the environment for future generations. Direct drive turbines are more durable, efficient, and require less maintenance, so they are an ideal choice.

Advanced Technology Provides Better Solutions

With the introduction of more advanced systems, many disadvantages can be avoided. This includes the biggest drawback of wind turbines; noise pollution in nearby areas. This pollution and associated vibration can be avoided through direct drive wind turbines.

Advanced technology allows for better onshore installations where power distribution is much easier. Moreover, better design and materials are being discovered every day. These will eventually add to the efficiency and performance of the turbines in the future.

Market Challenges

Increased Costs Up-Front

To date, the issue of an increased sunk cost for direct drive wind turbines has not been resolved. It is important to note that direct drive wind turbines demand a much higher investment upfront when compared to traditional wind turbine systems.

This initial cost includes the larger generators and the demand for excessive materials to run the turbine. It may prevent some wind farm developers from reaping the benefits of this kind of wind turbine system.

Practical Issues at Hand

One of the issues that stand out is that the newer direct drive wind turbines are less worthy of trust when compared to the geared turbines. The older, traditional turbines have proved to be more durable and reliable.

The fact that direct drive wind turbines haven't been properly introduced to the market or used can create uncertainty for investors and discourage them from investing their resources.

Moreover, it is also important to note that direct drive wind turbines are much heavier than the traditional systems as they are equipped with state-of-the-art powerful generators that are hard to transport.

Due to this, transportation and maintenance require more machinery, making even the simplest projects difficult.

The Trouble with Technological Advancement

We have come a long way from geared turbines. The past few years have allowed us to benefit from research and new technology for a much more efficient and reliable renewable energy system. This means that it isn't long before another development may replace direct drive wind turbines.

Competing alternatives are great for consumers but not so beneficial to the popularity of direct drive wind turbines. Awareness is required for the analysis and implementation of the best methods of energy generation according to usage.

Regional Coverage

  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Middle East
  • Africa

In the case of the direct drive wind turbine market, Southeast Asian countries have been in the leading position for many years. However, North America and Europe are also beginning to take their place as close competitors.

This increase in popularity hasn't just led to a boost in wind energy production but also the quicker adoption of direct drive wind turbines across the globe. We can only hope other countries join the bandwagon and choose to minimize costs in the future.

Company Recent Development

  • Northern Power System
  • Goldwind Science & Technology Co. Ltd.
  • Emergya Wind Technologies BV.
  • ABB Ltd.
  • Enercon GmbH
  • Avantis Energy Group
  • Others

Some of the developments in direct drive wind turbines that have driven growth include the introduction of the first 8 MW turbine by Goldwind at the Goldwind technology Fujian Equipment Manufacturing Base.

This was followed by China's introduction of the 10 mW direct drive permanent magnet generator for wind turbines offshore. This was further tested and approved for shipping to offshore projects. According to Dongfang Electric Machinery, this is the country's largest generator for wind turbines.

The most recent development includes Siemens' launch of the SG 10.0-193 DD offshore wind turbine with a 193m diameter rotor, 194m blades, and a swept area of 29,300 m^2. This turbine also has an energy production potential of 10 MW.

These and many more have added to the development of direct drive wind turbines over the past few years. More research is required to make these features accessible to more people and ensure the new technology is easier to implement.

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Our Research Methodology

Considering the volatility of business today, traditional approaches to strategizing a game plan can be unfruitful if not detrimental. True ambiguity is no way to determine a forecast. A myriad of predetermined factors must be accounted for such as the degree of risk involved, the magnitude of circumstances, as well as conditions or consequences that are not known or unpredictable. To circumvent binary views that cast uncertainty, the application of market research intelligence to strategically posture, move, and enable actionable outcomes is necessary.

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