Wind energy and other renewable energy sources will be the world’s main source of power in the future as they establish a strong foothold in global energy. According to the European Commission, between 10 and 15% of the total EU electricity demand could be coming from installed onshore and offshore wind farms by 2021. As claimed by the Global Wind Energy Council, wind energy worldwide will supply a sizeable amount of electricity, between 16 and 20% by 2021.

As a result, the wind market is seeing an increase in capacity towards multi-megawatt turbines and a widening of the geographical areas for installation (e.g. installation in deeper waters). Larger rotors have allowed for increased energy capture and production. Next-generation drivetrains will result in increased turbine efficiency and reliability. Offshore wind towers may employ concrete composites or other alternative materials in the future to help combat corrosion and reduce steel content while simultaneously enabling taller hub heights. The shift to High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) interconnection lines will reduce electrical losses, while higher voltage array cabling and larger turbines will allow for project layouts that minimize array cabling needs. Additionally, pressure to reduce costs will see an increasing shift towards material fabrication in low-cost countries and a push to higher mass, cost and size breakpoints for the blades, tower and nacelle.

As a result, the wind supply chain is facing new and increased challenges in several areas. The supply chain and logistics processes applied to the day-to-day operations are regarded as critical success or failure factors.

Whereas some industry players have achieved success in minimizing costs at specific points of the supply chain, the limited investment in people, process and system excellence has resulted in:

  • Limited performance visibility
  • Lack of understanding of actual impact on the bottom line
  • Increased exposure to high risk operations
  • General underestimation of actual CAPEX and OPEX supply chain and logistics spend

What is more, only a few companies have a macroscopic view of their end-to-end supply chain and logistics network and costs. Without this big-picture view, companies might miss out on opportunities to capture maximum savings.

Slowly, but steadily, the times are changing, and supply chain and logistics has become an increasingly important support function. There is more appreciation of the potential opportunities that can improve supply chain performance and deliver cost savings, service reliability and HSSE reduced exposure. Decisively, there is a growing realization that achieving excellence in supply chain and logistics is the key foundation for every kind of value improvement effort.

If managed properly, the supply chain provides a clear competitive advantage; otherwise, it can cause failures that may adversely impact the business results and hinder the relationship with clients. The services offered by 4D can support wind companies across their entire project or asset life cycle, from the early stages of pre-execution to execution right up to operating the asset, including decommissioning and restoration.

Our large pool of subject matter experts (SMEs), with extensive industry experience and support, enable our clients to deliver projects and operate assets efficiently, safely and in a reliable manner.

See our Client Services to understand how our products can help you to improve your bottom line.