Executive Briefings

Market for Drones Built to Inspect Wind Turbines Could Be Worth $6bn by 2024, Report Says

To inspect the blades of the more than 270,000 wind turbines operating globally, technicians have traditionally relied on binoculars and field scopes from the ground, or have scaled the turbines with the help of ropes or cables. Today, unmanned aerial vehicles are providing a safer option, with the benefit of higher-resolution imaging. Cumulative global revenue for wind turbine UAV sales and inspection services is expected to reach nearly $6bn by 2024, according to a Navigant Research report.

Market for Drones Built to Inspect Wind Turbines Could Be Worth $6bn by 2024, Report Says

"The use of drones for wind turbine blade inspection is proving to be more than a novelty," says Jesse Broehl, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. "Current inspection techniques from the ground and by rope or platform access will not be replaced; however, they will increasingly be augmented by drone inspections, which bring certain advantages."

The emerging wind turbine UAV market is driven by the massive number of blades that need to be inspected for normal deterioration and for pre-end-of-warranty inspections, according to the report. If uninspected, deterioration caused by the elements to the more than 800,000 blades in operation can result in reduced energy production and blade collapse, which could have catastrophic effects.

An executive summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

Source: Navigant Research

"The use of drones for wind turbine blade inspection is proving to be more than a novelty," says Jesse Broehl, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. "Current inspection techniques from the ground and by rope or platform access will not be replaced; however, they will increasingly be augmented by drone inspections, which bring certain advantages."

The emerging wind turbine UAV market is driven by the massive number of blades that need to be inspected for normal deterioration and for pre-end-of-warranty inspections, according to the report. If uninspected, deterioration caused by the elements to the more than 800,000 blades in operation can result in reduced energy production and blade collapse, which could have catastrophic effects.

An executive summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

Source: Navigant Research

Market for Drones Built to Inspect Wind Turbines Could Be Worth $6bn by 2024, Report Says