According to a new analysis from Wood Mackenzie, wind turbine prices are expected to increase by up to 10% over the next 12 to 18 months due to increases in commodity prices, logistics costs and coronavirus-related challenges.

As noted in a recent Wood Mackenzie report, a rise in steel, copper, aluminium and fiber 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 U.S. PTC and China feed-in-tariff (FiT) phase-outs,” explains Shashi Barla, Wood Mackenzie principal analyst. “Despite this rise in costs, we expect turbine prices to return to normal levels by the end of 2022.”

With the U.S.-China trade war not showing any signs of improving, turbine OEMs are facing further cost pressures. 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 adds.

“As expected, demand increases in India have failed to materialize, 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 bottle necks 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 decarbonization targets,” Barla says.

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

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