03 Mar 2011
Since wind power is the fastest growing manufacturing sector in the United States, with 400 new facilities opening up in the last five years, it is clear that developing a clear roadmap and package of new policies to support both offshore and onshore wind power is not just about being green and good, but about economic survival.
While dropping turbine prices may be have manufacturers scrambling, project developers will be scrambling to take advantage of the improved cost-competitiveness of wind energy compared with gas and coal.
“The latest edition of our Wind Turbine Price Index shows wind continuing to become a competitive source of large-scale power,” said Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “For the past few years, wind turbine costs went up due to rising demand around the world and the increasing price of steel. Behind the scenes wind manufacturers were reducing their costs, and now we are seeing just how cheap wind energy can be when overcapacity in the supply chain works its way through to developers.”
The challenges faced though to the OEM’s and their Tier 1 and 2 suppliers are tricky. They need to become increasing adaptive, showing the ability to ramp up production based on customer demand, while maintaining a high level of quality in their products. All this while fighting to keep production domestic, proving that they can not only compete with Chinese and European factories but deliver at the right cost in shorter lead times.
Suppliers are learning how to apply robust lean manufacturing strategies to reduce costs whilst they deepen supplier relations. Enjoying productive conversations not only with your immediate customer, but understand the changing needs of the utility or independent power producer will ensure that you can position yourself in the right place to make business decision on facts rather than guesswork.
In April in Detroit, Wind Energy Update is hosting the 2nd annual US Wind Turbine Supply Chain conference, building off the inaugural event that attract over 300 delegates on site. The leading OEMs are represented at the conference to establish an industry blueprint of what it takes to succeed as a trusted supplier in the North American wind energy industry.
Kevin Hazel, VP of Supply Chain Management for the Americas Region, Siemens Wind Energy
Bob Veideman, Sourcing Leader – Renewables, GE Energy
Director - Strategic Procurement, Acciona Energy North America
Steve Spethmann, Supply Chain Director, Suzlon
Dan McDevitt, VP Supply Management, Nordex USA
Matthew Carr, Strategic Procurement Manager, Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas
Learn to develop deeper relationships with long term suppliers, how to cope with order fluctuations and demands for greater manufacturing flexibility and reduce your risks with carefully selected strategic partnerships.
Find out more on this event at www.windenergyupdate.com/supplychainusa/
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