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Wind will take the number one slot
Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Wind turbines are poised to overtake aerospace as the biggest market for carbon fibre composites, according to a new report by Lux Research.
The report says the overall market for advanced composites based on carbon fibres, carbon nanotubes and graphene is on track to expand from a value of $7 billion this year to $25.8 billion by 2020 ? an average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16%.

Much future growth will be powered by wind turbine applications, which thanks to increasingly strict renewable energy standards and a shift towards larger offshore installations will balloon in value from $2.5 billion in 2011 to $15.4 billion in 2020 ? a CAGR of 23%.

Even so, the market for aerospace composites will continue to grow, largely as a result of Boeing?s successful 787 Dreamliner. The aerospace industry?s willingness to pay a price premium to reduce weight gave it an early start as the leading adopter and developer of novel structural materials. Yet, as wind applications become the dominant driver of future growth, aerospace composites will still see a healthy average CAGR of 13% ? rising from $2.1 billion in 2011 to $6.3 billion in 2020.

While slim industry margins and long development timelines have slowed the automotive industry?s adoption of advanced composites, it will see the second largest average industry CAGR at 17%. Revenues, however, will only actually grow from $519 million in 2011 to $2.1 billion by 2020.

Oil also gas applications will also see relatively slow growth due to the end market?s inherent conservatism and its satisfaction with conventional steel. The market will see a modest 5% CAGR from $273 million in 2011 to $427 million in 2020.

The Lux report adds that while sporting goods consumers are willing to pay for higher performance, they do not represent a volume driver. The total market size for sporting goods will remain steady at around $1.5 billion throughout the decade, it predicts.