As the prices of fossil fuel energy sources continue to rise, wind energy prices continue to fall. Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s latest Wind Turbine Price Index (WTPI) reports that utility-scale wind power equipment prices hit a new low in the second half of 2011. Prices dropped about 4%. BNEF writes: “contracts signed in the second half of 2011 for 2013 delivery fell to EUR 0.91m/MW ($1.21/MW), down 4% from six months earlier and well off their five-year high of EUR 1.21m/MW in 2009.”
Price drops were largest for older wind turbines, dropping to ”EUR 0.85m ($1.13m) per megawatt on average, down 10% from six months earlier.”
Chinese manufacturers led the competition, even in developing wind power markets across the world, such as Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Australia.
“The survey revealed procurement officers and turbine manufactures sharing a generally negative outlook on prices; most anticipate further moderate declines in turbine prices in 2012 and 2013. They don’t expect prices to recover until at least 2014.”
Leading causes of the price drops are excess wind power equipment capacity and new low-cost competitors, such as new Chinese manufacturers.
“Short-term pain among wind manufacturers is now undeniable and unavoidable. But the current price slump is good news on the demand side as wind is more competitive with coal and gas on a dollar-per-megawatt hour basis, which is vital given ever-lower levels of subsidy and support,” Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, says. ”Those manufacturers which can achieve leading cost positions are going to be in a good strategic position when the market enters its next expansionary phase in a few years.”
Here are some more details on what went into the analysis:
“The WTPI represents aggregated data collected on a confidential basis from 38 of the world’s largest buyers of wind turbines. The sample includes information on more than 230 turbine contracts totaling nearly 10.6GW of contracted capacity – with a main focus on Europe and the Americas.”
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