ONYX Insight report reveals concerns for the wind industry

Supply chain & reliability are atop list of concerns for global wind industry, with digitisation cited as critical to improving long-term cost-efficiency

Global predictive analytics solution provider ONYX Insight interviewed key players from the global wind industry to talk about current challenges and future opportunities. 

The findings are outlined in the Ever-Changing Winds report, which  reveals that supply chain issues, OEM pressures and turbine reliability are the greatest challenges facing the wind industry, with digital adoption key to making meaningful improvements. 

Supply chain and reliability issues 

The report reveals that more than half of respondents cite supply chain as the biggest challenge in wind operations, leading to project delays and cost overruns affecting OEMs.

Reliability, or lack of it, is impacting all asset owners, with nearly 50% of respondents foresee issues with both their existing fleet and brand-new turbines coming off the production line.

Managing risk of equipment failures has always been part of wind farm operation and many historical issues have been addressed by new designs, but the speed of development alongside the relentless drive to reduce costs has introduced additional challenges. 

Digitisation at the heart of the solution

In 2020, 81% of respondents had barely started digitalisation efforts, but this figure more than halved to 36% in 2023 — only 14% of respondents, however, indicated that their digitalisation of operations is mature or market leading.  

The ONYX report makes clear that technology advancements in predictive analytics and digitalised operations and maintenance are critical to improving the long-term cost-efficiency of the industry. 

“The wind industry faces a range of new challenges in the post-pandemic era,” says Ashley Crowther, ONYX Insight’s Chief Commercial Officer who is the lead author on the report. 

“The supply chain, OEM headwinds and turbine reliability sit front and centre of the issues facing operators as they look to reduce O&M expenditure in the face of increasing financial pressures. Supply chain pressures are compounding reliability problems caused by ageing assets. However, challenges drive change and the industry can embrace technology to become more efficient. The best players are investing in digitalisation, as their leaders know they will otherwise be left behind. We need to embed more knowledge into digital technology and leverage the output. We need to leverage our data for decision making and know ahead of time where, when and what for parts, people, and tools. It is clear from the report that there is a broad consensus that new predictive maintenance solutions are needed sooner rather than later. ONYX is working to develop the next generation of monitoring systems that will deliver a more complete picture for operators.”  


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