Global Wind Turbine Manufacturing Capacity Has Far Surpassed Demand, According to New Navigant Research Report

Innovation and lean manufacturing are resulting in a highly competitive wind industry, report concludes

BOULDER, Colo.--A new report from Navigant Research examines the significant forces shaping the global wind power industry's supply chain, including analyses of more than 500 component and materials suppliers.


During the past 2 years, more flexible sourcing strategies across the wind power supply chain have resulted in cost reductions, enabling greater geographic market access while reducing risk and ensuring profitability for wind turbine vendors and their partners in the component value chain. Overcapacity, however, persists in most, though not all areas of the supply chain, providing purchasers with more choice, flexibility, and cost control. Click to tweet: According to a new report from Navigant Research, while demand in 2014 is projected to be less than 47,000 megawatts (MW), annual turbine manufacturing capacity, according to vendor estimates, is likely to exceed 71,000 megawatts MW.

"Oversupply is allowing wind turbine manufacturers to more easily adjust what components they produce in-house, what is outsourced, and when a blend of both is advantageous for cost, technological, or geographic reasons," says Jesse Broehl, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. "Although many manufacturing facilities are running at less than full capacity, product innovation, lean manufacturing, and outsourcing are resulting in a highly competitive wind industry ready for the challenges of today's and tomorrow's wind markets."

Blades are a particularly strong area of strategic product evolution and sourcing shifts, according to the report. Turbine manufacturers are making major, capital-intensive investment changes in how blades are designed, what materials are used, the manufacturing processes behind them, and what companies they source from.

The report, "Supply Chain Assessment 2014 – Wind Energy," examines the significant forces shaping the global wind power industry's supply chain. The nearly 300-page report examines 11 component categories and profiles more than 300 component suppliers; it also identifies more than 200 suppliers across four groups of materials. Analysis is provided of the top wind turbine vendors and their manufacturing capabilities, supply chain relationships, and technology strategies. Key offerings and the capacity for leading suppliers, located primarily in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America, are quantified. The report also analyzes the major technology trends within each of the component and materials categories, as well as the related manufacturing capacity and supply versus demand dynamics expected through 2018. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

About Navigant Research

Navigant Research, the dedicated research arm of Navigant, provides market research and benchmarking services for rapidly changing and often highly regulated industries. In the energy sector, Navigant Research focuses on in-depth analysis and reporting about global clean technology markets. The team's research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Utilities, Smart Transportation, and Smart Buildings sectors. Additional information about Navigant Research can be found at www.navigantresearch.com.

About Navigant

Navigant is a specialized, global expert services firm dedicated to assisting clients in creating and protecting value in the face of critical business risks and opportunities. Through senior level engagement with clients, Navigant professionals provide services that extend from expert and advisory work through implementation and outsourcing. The firm combines deep technical expertise in Disputes and Investigations, Economics, Financial Advisory and Management Consulting, with business pragmatism to address clients' needs in highly regulated industries including Construction, Energy, Financial Services and Healthcare. More information about Navigant can be found at navigant.com.

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