Global Wind Turbine Orders Rise

Turbine Order Intake Increases 22 percent

Global demand for wind turbines has risen at double-digit rates in the last year, and is expected to support a raft of new breakbulk projects, according to the latest analysis by consultancy Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.

The findings suggest that global wind turbine order intake increased 22 percent in the fourth quarter of last year and 32 percent over the course of 2018 as a whole.

"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," said Luke Lewandowski, director at Wood Mackenzie.

Vestas Leads Pack

Danish wind developer Vestas was highlighted as a key actor in global growth over the last year with the firm securing an estimated 56 percent of orders in the 3.5 to 4.99 megawatt segment.

"Vestas crushed firm order intake in 2018. The company's 5.5 gigawatt 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 gigawatts for Vestas to 5.1gigawatts for Nordex,” Lewandowski added.

Four Chinese turbine OEMs also ranked in the top 10 for full year firm order capacity, although all except SEwind, saw capacity drop in the fourth quarter.

Renewable Strategy

Growth in offshore wind projects is spurring a new wave of global breakbulk activity as several oil majors refocus their strategy with an increased focus on renewable investments. Anglo-Dutch major Shell this week announced that it would leave U.S. refining lobby the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, or AFPM, due to conflicts over its commitment to climate targets.

China, India and U.S. Drive Change

Demand from new markets has also reshaped the sector with China and India continuing to dominate the small 2 to 2.99 megawatt turbine category in 2018 while repowering demand in the U.S. is also supported demand growth.              
“Industry announced nearly 8 gigawatts of offshore order capacity in 2018, beating the previous high in 2016 by nearly 2 gigawatts,” Lewandowski added.
Photo: Wind turbines. Credit: Wikimedia