Global wind turbine orders increased by 31% in 2018 thanks in part to a 20% fourth-quarter increase which saw 18 gigawatts of new capacity added.
Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables published its findings in the Global Wind Turbine Order Analysis: Q1 2019 report which showed that the majority of regions experienced wind turbine order capacity increases in the fourth quarter. However, the United States bucked this trend, seeing a decline in capacity orders due to less demand for safe-harbor qualification investment under 60% tax credits.
The share of turbines ordered within the 3.5 to 4.99 megawatt (MW) range increased in 2018 — only 10% of which were attributed to offshore orders in China.
“Ten turbine OEMs won orders in this ratings segment in 2018, with Vestas (56%), Siemens Games Renewable Energy (13%) and Nordex Group (12%) topping the list for largest order capacity,” said Luke Lewandowski, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables Research Director, and report author.
“Demand in China and India continued to dominate the 2-2.99 MW segment in 2018 and received a boost from repowering demand in the US. The latter is a segment that has emerged as a key strategic battleground within the industry recently.
“Vestas crushed firm order intake in 2018. 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.”
The offshore wind energy sector saw strong growth in 2018 with the rise of bigger turbines driving the market forward.
“Demand in the offshore wind sector impacted technology mix and turbine rating segmentation of the 2018 order activity,” said Lewandowski. “Industry announced nearly 8 GW of offshore order capacity in 2018, beating the previous high in 2016 by nearly 2 GW. Wind turbines rated 8 MW or higher comprised over 40% of offshore order capacity in 2018, with MHI Vestas accounting for 64% of this ratings segment.
“In terms of further activity in this space, seven OEMs secured orders in China and three separate OEMs secured firm orders outside of China. Additionally, demand for MHI Vestas technology significantly contributed to the increasing share of direct drive technology over the past couple of years.”
Looking forward, Wood Mackenzie expect the global wind market to continue its strong position with stable growth.
“As stated in our research, global turbine pricing remains relatively stable QoQ – if not increasing in certain markets,” Lewandowski concluded. “Demand for new turbine models ahead of policy expirations and targets has started to fill order books as OEMs transition production lines, which has caused a modest uptick in pricing.
“As transmission availability and permitting challenges increase the complexity of developable areas, we see an increasing demand on innovation and customised equipment.”