The global market for utility-scale onshore wind converters continues to be led by doubly fed (DFIG) converters, according to a new report entitled "The World Market for Wind Converters - 2013" from IHS Inc., a leading global source of critical insight and information. DFIG converters are forecast to outpace full-conversion products by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.6 percent from 2012 to 2017, reaching more than 9,900 units shipped in 2017. Three major factors are hindering the sales of full-conversion products in the converter market: high rare earth material prices, lagging offshore wind development and China's high demand for doubly-fed converters.
"In the first case, the high price of rare earth materials has led turbine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and generator manufacturers to reduce production costs by using less rare earth materials in their designs," said Jared Kearby, analyst at IHS. "This has resulted in an emphasis on continuing the production of doubly fed converter solutions, due to the increased demand." This year, doubly-fed converter shipments will outpace full-converter shipments by 4 percent.