2020 is a crisis year, yet the wind industry comes across as rather stable, compared to many other sectors: The mood in the global wind industry is increasingly seen in a positive light. The future of offshore wind energy in particular has received very optimistic assessments, with best-ever results for Europe, and in particular, Asia. Following some extremely negative values in autumn 2019, the mood in the German wind industry is slowly recovering, as well. While the mood about the onshore wind segment continues to be restrained despite a marked improvement, the future prospects for the offshore wind industry in particular are now being seen as positive. Furthermore, the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t seem to have a major impact on the optimistic expectations for the coming years: a majority of respondents either believe that the pandemic has no effect on the wind industry at all, or that it actually affects it in a positive manner. Digitalisation and the production of green hydrogen are believed to harbour additional growth potential.
These are some of the results of the new WindEnergy trend:index (WEtix) which has been prepared twice every year since 2018 by WindEnergy Hamburg, the global onshore and offshore wind energy event, jointly with wind:research, the leading market research institute for wind energy. Conducted in autumn 2020, the sixth online survey for the global mood barometer, again enjoyed a high participation rate despite the postponement of WindEnergy Hamburg. More than 1,250 market stakeholders responded. All in all more than 7,500 individuals have taken part in these surveys to date, assessing the prospects of the global onshore and offshore wind energy industry.
Mood in German wind industry continues to improve
In November of last year the WEtix produced some extremely negative results. But now the mood in the German wind industry is slowly recovering. For the second time in sequence, the current situation in the onshore wind market received less pessimistic reviews than earlier, while assessments of the offshore wind market in Germany were positive, if only slightly, for the first time since the spring of 2019. Despite an improving mood, Germany continues to be bottom of the league in a global comparison of market assessments.
Nevertheless, expectations for the long-term development of the German wind industry are now more optimistic: two-year predictions for the onshore market, while still relatively cautious compared with the results for other regions, are now somewhat more positive. What is more, looking at the prospective offshore wind market two years from now, Germany received the best assessment to date since WEtix surveys were first launched in 2018.
Assessments of the international onshore wind industry continue to improve – positive future prospects for the offshore wind industry
The market situation in the onshore wind industry in North America and Asia is increasingly seen as positive, and the values for Europe, following last year's decline, are now back in the positive range, if only slightly. The assessment of the market in the rest of the world remains positive, despite some losses. Around the world the expectations for the future onshore wind market are confident. In Asia and the rest of the world in particular, the market outlook is positive.
As for the offshore wind market situation for Europe, North America and Asia, assessments remain in the positive range and are trending slightly upwards; the rest of the world has managed to stop the negative trends seen in the past two surveys. Expectations for the future of offshore wind are very positive: Europe, Asia and the rest of the world achieved even better results than in the last WEtix, with Europe and especially Asia producing their best outcomes ever. North America maintains the relatively high level seen in the previous survey.
Impact of coronavirus pandemic considered as neutral or even positive
The coronavirus crisis has not dampened the current good mood in the wind industry: Answering the newly added question about the effects of the pandemic, over 50% of respondents for onshore, and more than 60% for offshore either indicated that in their opinion COVID-19 has no effect on the wind industry at all, or that it actually affects it in a positive or even very positive manner. However. these responses contrast with close to 40% who fear negative consequences.
For the coming years respondents expect the emergence of additional business potential, driven by green hydrogen, digitalisation, and new technologies. Half of respondents believe it is likely or very likely that the production of green hydrogen will play a key role for wind energy over the next three years. Expectations for optimisation potential driven by digitalisation remain at a high level for both onshore and offshore wind energy, if with minimal losses. The mood in terms of the saving potential inherent in new technologies is unchanged, remaining in the medium to high range; the saving potential in offshore wind energy has been receiving significantly better ratings than onshore ever since the WEtix was first launched.
Furthermore, respondents are expecting consolidation activities in both the onshore and offshore segments to decline somewhat. Ratings of the intensity of consolidation processes in the offshore segment are at the lowest level since the surveys were introduced.
WindEnergy Hamburg from 1 to 4 December 2020
Every two years one of the most fascinating industries meets for the leading global networking event for wind energy: At WindEnergy Hamburg, located right in the heart of the vibrant northern German port city, up to 1,400 exhibitors from 40 countries have been presenting their innovations and solutions biennially since 2014. Equipment manufacturers and suppliers for all stages of the onshore and offshore wind energy value chain provide a comprehensive overview of the market. WindEnergy Hamburg is the world’s largest sourcing pool for equipment engineering. Providers of everything from planning and project design to installation, operation and maintenance, and through to marketing, certification and financing showcase their services. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, WindEnergy Hamburg 2020, after having been postponed from September to December, has now been transformed into a purely digital event. A digital platform will offer exhibitors and industry visitors many new features enabling them to get informed, share ideas and experiences, and do business. In its “WindTV Premium Stream”, WindEurope will broadcast its Premium Conference, while the “WindTV Open Stream” will feature a free programme put together jointly by WindEurope, GWEC and WindEnergy Hamburg, where CEOs, decision-makers and leading experts discussing topics such as: global markets, permitting procedures, community engagement, electrification, renewable hydrogen, latest technologies and innovations, and many questions surrounding the wind energy supply chain.
WindEnergy Hamburg | windenergy.com