Wind power generation and bearing
Wind power generation is one of the most mature power generation methods with the most mature development technology, development scale and development prospects in the global renewable energy field. Under the main theme of green development and energy conservation, wind power generation will be an important part of the future energy and power structure.
Global new installed capacity of wind power will remain high. According to data, as of the end of 2019, the cumulative installed capacity of global wind power was 651GW, a year-on-year increase of 10%. The average annual compound growth rate in the past ten years was about 11.8%, and the average annual compound growth rate in the past four years was about 7.5%. China and the United States are still the two countries with the most new onshore wind power installations in 2019, accounting for 58.5% of the market share.
With the continuous maturity of wind power related technologies and the continuous upgrading of equipment, various countries have been very active and determined in the development of wind power. The British government has set a target of 40% of electricity generation from offshore wind power by 2030. The German government has raised the target of offshore wind power installed capacity in 2030 to 20GW. Major offshore wind power markets such as Denmark and the Netherlands have also issued 2030 installed targets. The global new installed capacity of wind power will reach 71.7GW in 2020 and will be further increased to 78GW in 2021, and the global new installed capacity of wind power will remain high.
In China, the advent of the wind-level price era is expected to promote the rapid development of the industry. On January 1, 2021, China's newly approved onshore wind power projects will achieve full grid parity. At present, the wind power guide prices in the first and second types of wind resource areas have been lower than the national average coal power benchmark price, and affordable projects have gradually become the main driving force for the growth of wind power installations. In 2020, the installed capacity of the wind-level-price grid-connected project will reach 11.397 million kilowatts. The pressure of parity access will accelerate industry integration, promote industry technological progress and industry chain system optimization, which is conducive to the long-term and healthy development of the industry.
Fan parts enter the high boom cycle. The overall upward development of the global wind power industry has driven the rapid growth of related wind power components. The upstream wind power bearings, wind towers and other components have entered a period of high prosperity. In the past two years, most of the world’s wind turbine component companies have maintained rapid growth in performance.
Wind turbine bearings are important components that connect the steering of the yaw, pitch and transmission systems in the unit, corresponding to the yaw bearing, pitch bearing and main shaft bearing respectively. Its main function is to support the rotating shaft or other moving bodies, guide the rotation or movement and bear the load transmitted by the shaft and the parts on the shaft. Its accuracy, performance, life and reliability are important to the performance.
The global wind bearing market presents a monopoly pattern. At present, the global bearing market presents a pattern of monopolistic competition. More than 70% of the market share is concentrated in the hands of eight multinational groups, including SKF, Schaeffler (INA+FAG), NSK, NTN, Minebea, NACHI, JTKET, TIMKEN, etc., respectively from Sweden, Germany, Japan, the United States and other countries, while domestic bearing manufacturers account for about 20% of the global market share.
Looking back at the development history of the domestic wind power industry, the national policy orientation has a very close relationship with the development of the industry. Before 2006, most of China's wind power equipment supporting bearings were imported, and the price remained high for a long time and the delivery cycle was long. At that time, the new market share of foreign-funded wind turbines was more than 55%. One year later, Chinese companies dominated 55%, a sharp increase in 2006. Wind farms that did not meet the requirements for the localization rate of equipment construction was not allowed.
With the help of policies, domestic wind power bearing enterprises have been rising rapidly, and finally realized the localization of pitch bearings and yaw bearings. However, in 2010, in order to promote the healthy and sustainable development of the domestic wind power industry and to create an open, shared, and orderly competitive wind power industry market environment, the "70% localization rate of wind power equipment" was canceled. Since then, foreign companies had poured into the Chinese market. Global leaders such as SKF, FAG, and NTN had successively set up wind power bearing factories in China, and foreign-funded enterprises have a leading market position in the high-power and spindle bearing market.
Limited by the level of technology and production scale, local companies mainly focus on the low-end market. Data shows that the import and export value of China's rolling bearings from January to August 2020 is about 2.2 billion US dollars, and the unit price of import and export is 1.41 respectively. The import unit price is more than twice the export unit price, indicating that imported bearings occupy the country's high-end market. In addition, most of the companies that produce bearings are small and medium-sized enterprises, and the output of medium and large-sized bearings accounted for less than 13%. Therefore, the bearing manufacturing industry in the country has a small number of participants, and there are no leading companies with great influence.
Domestic high-end bearings are mainly inferior to foreign countries in materials and technology. In the long-term attempts and breakthroughs, the domestic bearing industry has achieved rapid and better development. At the same time, relying on the huge domestic industrial system, the scale of China’s bearing industry leads the world. However, China's bearing industry is large but not strong. There is a big gap between high-end bearing materials and technology with Japan, Europe and the United States. High-end products such as high-power wind turbine bearings still rely on imports.
At the same time, the manufacturing process of high-end bearings involves design, processing, testing and other technical issues and theoretical foundations such as mechanics and tribology. The former requires long-term accumulation of technical experience, while the latter requires a large number of high-quality talents, which cannot be achieved in a short period of time. Therefore, it is necessary to give domestic enterprises a certain amount of time to complete the accumulation of technology and the cultivation of talents. In addition, in terms of process equipment, high-precision machine tools, induction heating equipment and other fields are relatively weak, which also limits the development of China's high-end bearing industry.
The supply of foreign bearings is blocked, and the time is right for domestic substitution. The supply of imported bearings is restricted, which provides a window for domestic enterprises to substitute imports. The sudden outbreak of the epidemic in 2020 gave various industries an emergency brake, and the global industrial chain and supply chain were impacted, resulting in insufficient supply of wind power main bearings. With the normalization of domestic epidemic prevention and control and the steady increase in wind power demand, superimposed on the desire of local companies to break through the long-term monopoly of overseas companies, domestic companies with a certain foundation and a certain scale usher in development opportunities and are expected to accelerate the localization of wind power bearings. At present, wind turbine manufacturers are already using the main shaft bearings produced by local enterprises.
In general, wind power meets the requirements of human sustainable development, with distinctive characteristics of the times and trends. With the rapid development of the global wind power industry, the relevant parts market has also risen. As one of the core components of the wind power field, the bearing will enter a period of high prosperity. At this stage, the market for high-end bearings is mainly monopolized by international giants. With the continuous breakthrough of technology and the catalysis of the epidemic, the process of localization of bearings is accelerating.
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