Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has reclaimed the world’s top wind turbine manufacturer spot from last year’s usurper Goldwind, with 8.7 gigawatts worth of wind turbines installed across the globe in 2016.
The most interesting takeaway from Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s (BNEF) latest annual rankings of global wind turbine manufacturers is the impending arrival of a new contender likely to turn the “big three” major manufacturers into a “big four.”
BNEF released its new rankings this week, with Denmark’s Vestas walking away with a clear lead ahead of its rivals. Vestas installed 8.7 GW worth of wind turbines in 2016, including 16% of all onshore wind installations, and now boasting commissioned projects in 35 countries.
Second was General Electric, which installed 6.5 GW across the year, an increase of 600 megawatts over what it accomplished the year prior. However, even General Electric was a victim to Vestas, losing its traditional top spot in the US to the Danish powerhouse — though the company made up for it by increasing its global presence to 21 countries in 2016, up from only 14 in 2015.
Third, and falling from last year’s first place, was China’s Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology, which installed 6.4 GW in 2016 — with virtually all its installed capacity being done in its home market, serving to further expand its market share there.
Top 10 onshore turbine manufacturers, 2016 (GW)
“This years’ ranking shows why 2016 was all about mergers in the turbine-maker sector,” said David Hostert, head of wind research for BNEF. “There is now a strong breakaway group of three companies at the front, with a fairly tight field following.”
The top five was rounded out by Spain’s Gamesa, narrowly ahead of Germany’s Enercon.
Offshore wind capacity only accounted for 832 MW commissioned in 2016, dominated by installations in Asia. China’s Sewind, which produces Siemens offshore wind turbines under license in China, accounted for 489 MW of the total installed. Siemens followed in second place.
Top 10 offshore turbine manufacturers, 2016 (MW)
As for the emergence of a “big four” at the head of the pack, David Hostert said: “The upcoming merger of Siemens Wind and Gamesa will allow the joined company to catch up and create a ‘big four’ group of dominant manufacturers. Staying at the front of this pack will require both significant size and a balanced presence in the right markets.”
Considering that Gamesa ranked at fourth, and Siemens was in seventh, it is unsurprising that the resulting merger will provide a competitor to the big three. The two companies announced back in June of 2016 that they would merge their wind energy businesses — which is to say, Gamesa would merge with Siemens’ own wind business to create a larger company. At the time, Navigant Research figures had the companies as the fourth and fifth wind turbine suppliers in the world, with 7.7% and 5.5% respectively — though how that compares to BNEF’s own methodology and how that has changed over the intervening time is unclear.
The combined company would have a 69 GW install base worldwide, and an order backlog close to €20 billion, revenue of €9.3 billion, and an adjusted EBIT of €839 million. With “highly complementary” existing market share around the globe, a lot of expectation is being heaped on the resultant merged company.
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