Vestas Reclaims Global Wind Manufacturing Lead As It Finishes Q1 With A Subsidy-Free Bang

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Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems A/S reclaimed the number 1 spot atop the global wind turbine manufacturing pile in 2018, news announced at the same time as the company finished 2019’s first quarter with a flurry of turbine order announcements worth 1,380 megawatts (MW) and including two subsidy-free projects.

The last few days of March were a busy and successful period for Vestas, as data analytics and media company GlobalData published its annual Global Wind Turbine Manufacturer Rankings for 2018 which showed Vestas returning to the top of the fold, 3 gigawatts (GW) ahead of its nearest rival. At the same time, Vestas itself was announcing a flurry of wind turbine orders as it raced to the end of the first quarter, with ten orders amounting to 1,380 MW.

Vestas Wind Systems A/S finished 2018 with 10 GW installed in the year, a 19.6% share of the global market and a 33% increase on its 2017 figure of 7.5 GW. Vestas thus returned to first place, ahead of China’s Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology which installed 7 GW in 2018, and Siemens Gamesa which fell from first place to third, installing only 6.1 GW in 2018, down from 8.6 GW installed in 2017.

“Vestas has been among the top wind turbine manufacturers and has grown organically,” said Ankit Mathur, Practice Head of Power at GlobalData. “Having secured its base in the key European and US markets, and a strong product portfolio, the company should now aim for other big markets where it has a minority presence.”

“Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA (SGRE), which topped the 2017 ranking fell three places and is currently occupying third position. SGRE installed 6.1 GW, with 11.8% share, of the global wind turbine installations for 2018. The fall in the installed capacity, from 9.4 GW in 2017 to 6.1 GW is mainly attributed to a large number of turbines delivered to projects that are still under construction and expected to come online in 2019-20.”

“The top five turbine manufacturers accounted for nearly 62% of the total installed capacity in 2018, up almost 5% on the previous year,” Mathur added. “On average, the wind market is likely to install 59 GW of annual wind capacity until 2023. Consistent growth will come from mature markets in the US and Europe, whilst additional growth is estimated to be driven by global offshore market and developing markets in South East Asia and MENA region.”

This dominance at the top was confirmed by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, which also published 2018 figures last week highlighting Vestas’ dominance.

“Vestas crushed firm order intake in 2018,” said Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables Research Director, and report author, Luke Lewandowski. “The company’s 5.5 GW haul in Q4 represented more than the full-year intake of all OEMs, other than the top three. Western turbine OEMs claimed the top four positions in the ranking of full-year order intake volume, ranging from 14.2 GW for Vestas to 4.8 GW for Nordex. The latter posted strong order intake in Q4 (1.8 GW), providing some distance from Goldwind in the full-year standings. Four Chinese turbine OEMs ranked in the top 10 for full-year firm order capacity, although all except SEwind announced less capacity QoQ in Q4.”

Note that Vestas’ installations and firm order intake figures differ as the former represents confirmed installations, whereas the latter represents only confirmed orders which will not necessarily have been delivered or installed: Two figures representing two ways in which Vestas is leading the global wind turbine manufacturing industry.

That dominance has also continued into the first quarter of 2019, highlighted by ten orders announced in three days to finish off the month of March and, therefore, the first fiscal quarter of the year. A total of 1,380 MW of orders were confirmed to finish the quarter, including four small orders which also accounted for two subsidy-free projects. The first, a 17 MW project, will be Denmark’s first utility-scale subsidy-free wind project, while a 47 MW project in Scotland will be the UK’s first standalone merchant wind park progressing to construction without any direct financial support.

Other orders included a 119 MW order for the Turitea Wind Farm in New Zealand, and two orders placed for projects in Brazil — the first, a 361 MW order from French multinational electric utility ENGIE for the Campo Largo Phase 2 wind park to be located at Sento Sé and Umburanas municipalities, State of Bahia; and the second, a 206 MW order from French multinational company Quadran International for the Serrote wind park to be located at the municipality of Trairí, in the state of Ceará.

Further, Vestas took in three orders for the United States totaling 545 MW, two of which are for undisclosed customers and projects, while the third, a 143 MW order, is for the Bearkat II Wind project in Texas being developed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP).

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Joshua S Hill

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