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Wind forecasting market to surpass $300 million by 2020

The market for wind forecasting technologies will grow from $198 million in 2012 to $301 million in 2020, according to a new report from Navigant Research.

A meteorological tower monitoring wind speed at Scout Moor wind farm, Britain (copyright Paul Anderson)
A meteorological tower monitoring wind speed at Scout Moor wind farm, Britain (copyright Paul Anderson)

Annual growth rates are projected to be highest in the developing markets of Asia-Pacific and Latin-America with biggest earnings being generated in Europe, where most of the hardware will be installed.

The report, Wind Forecasting and Data Analytics, shows how wind forecasting is critical for the efficient operation of an interconnected electricity grid, for both wind developers and grid operators.

Meteorological towers, currently the backbone of the wind industry, serve various forecasting needs. As wind turbines grow larger met towers’ value diminishes and they will increasingly give way to remote sensing devices, such as sound detection and ranging (sodar) and light detection and ranging (lidar) systems.

Feng Zhao, Navigant Research managing consultant, said: "As wind turbines grow in size, met towers are no longer cost-effective, and the value proposition for using met towers alone is rapidly vanishing.

"Pressure from grid operators demanding more accurate power scheduling from wind farm operators and the challenges of lowering the cost of offshore wind energy are making remote sensing devices increasingly attractive."

The market dynamic between sodar and lidar is evolving and unsettled and these technologies are effectively competing for market leadership with no clear front-runner emerging.

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