Market opportunities for industrial minerals in the emerging wind turbine market appear to have good prospects as the wind blade composites market starts to take off.
Many countries have set challenging targets for renewable energy production. In December 2011, the UK Minister for the Environment announced potential plans for another 29,000 wind turbines, mainly offshore.
At the same time, the American Wind Energy Association announced that more than 1,200MW were installed in the US in the third quarter of 2011, an increase on any quarter since 2008.
Such government-led moves will certainly help the outlook for wind blade manufacturing, and thus mineral consumption in the future.
But it might not necessarily be an easy ride, and market predictions might take longer to come to fruition.
There remains hot debate over the economics of wind power, and...