When it started its project in September 2014, GreenSpur was aware there had been a market move towards DD PMGs to facilitate upscaling and cost reduction. However, the market leading DD PMGs being developed were reliant on the use of scarce and expensive rare earth magnets.
Problems associated with using rare earth magnets.
Almost 95% of global rare earth market production originates from China and is in high demand from other rapidly expanding global industries such as: batteries for electrical vehicles, defence, aerospace, medical, computing and mobile phones. The 2015 annual production of the rare earth elements neodymium and dysprosium, key components in the manufacture of the rare earth magnets, is estimated at only 35,900 tonnes and 1,902 tonnes respectively (European Commission JRC, 2011). By contrast ferrite magnets are made from iron ore, an abundantly available material and it is estimated that worldwide reserves amount to 800 billion tonnes (Minerals Education Coalition).
GreenSpur is the first company to develop a credible ferrite DD PMG.
High growth is forecasted for the global offshore wind market, which will create high demand for DD PMGs. To meet estimates it is predicted that by 2025 DD PMGs could require 35% of global rare-earth magnet production. This could result in significant price hikes and long supply lead times, particularly if competing and politically influential industries (e.g. defence or electric vehicles).