Vestas Blown Off Wind Market Top Spot by GE

From Business Green

Vestas may have lost its lead in the global wind market, although industry studies disagree whether the Danish manufacturer has been overtaken by GE.

A report by Navigant Consulting said GE had grown to take 15.5 per cent of the worldwide market, edging out Vestas on 14 per cent from its 12 year reign as number one. Yet Danish research house Make Consulting listed Vestas at 14.6 per cent compared to GE’s 13.7 per cent, while both studies placed Siemens in third.

GE has benefited from a huge expansion in the US, primarily due to the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for the industry, as well as growth in emerging markets, which helped push the US conglomerate up from fifth place the previous year, Make said. It would have pipped Vestas to top spot in Make’s rankings if all its Brazil projects had been connected to the grid.

Meanwhile, a 26 per cent decline in Chinese installations saw the country’s manufacturers drop out of the top five in Make’s rankings.

Navigant saw the worldwide wind market grow almost eight per cent over 2012, an increase on the previous year, but still down on the 17.8 per cent average growth seen over the past five years. Meanwhile, it recorded 45GW of new wind capacity was added last year, swelling global capacity almost 19 per cent to just under 286GW.

However, the company expects a slowdown in wind turbine sales between 2013 and 2015 will keep new capacity added to 242GW by 2017, a 10 per cent downgrade on the forecast it made in 2011.

This decline will be primarily led by the US market, which will face additional political uncertainty when the PTC expires after 2013, but established European wind power markets, such as Spain and Italy, are also expected to decline in coming years. Navigant says China, the world’s largest wind market, will still be in transition from a period of breakneck growth to one of more stable development.

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