The momentum propelling Chinese turbine OEMs up the league table of turbine producers slowed in 2016, with Vestas in top position, but once again shows the growing importance of the offshore wind market to leading manufacturers
Consulting firm MAKE’s Global Wind Turbine OEM 2016 Market Share report says Vestas added 8.7 gigawatts (GW) of capacity across 36 markets in 2016, distancing itself from the runner-up, GE, by nearly three percentage points, this being the largest difference between the top two spots in the ranking since 2013.
Western turbine OEMs accounted for four of the top five positions and seven positions overall in the top 15 global rankings. Outside China, western turbine OEMs capitalised on markets with big years for new capacity, including the US, India, and Germany.
As MAKE highlighted, key differentiators for western turbine OEMs included market diversification and commercialisation of larger turbine models.
Larger and larger turbines are, of course, a growing part of the offshore wind industry, and the offshore sector remained an important differentiator, particularly for Siemens, although it did not have the same overall impact as in 2015. However, Siemens still accounted for 68 per cent of global offshore capacity, and Sewind’s offshore achievements in China helped bolster the Chinese OEM’s position in the regional rankings.
Vestas led all turbine OEMs in terms of geographic diversity, with significant capacity added in each region. The top seven western turbine OEMs added capacity in an average of 21 markets in 2016, compared to an average of two markets apiece for Chinese turbine OEMs.
MAKE says a lack of geographic diversity continues to expose Chinese turbine OEMs to fluctuations in the size of annual capacity additions in the China market. As a result of less new capacity installed in China year on year, the seven Chinese turbine OEMs in the top 15 global ranking added nearly 500MW less capacity in 2016 than in 2015. This kept six of the seven Chinese turbine OEMs from maintaining the same position or caused them to drop position in the ranking year on year. CSIC Haizhuang was the only Chinese turbine OEM to improve its position and the only Chinese OEM to record more annual capacity in 2016 than in 2015.
Vestas claimed the top spot in the global ranking for the second year in succession, adding capacity in 36 markets in 2016, 13 markets more than any other turbine OEM. Vestas captured the top spot exclusively with onshore growth.
GE returned to the second position globally after losing the spot to Goldwind last year. It held on to the top spot in the US, albeit by a thin margin, and continued to control the Brazilian market. In addition to winning the Americas region, GE posted record years in Germany and India and otherwise capitalised on demand for its 2MW platform. It installed the first offshore turbines in the Americas market to complement its onshore focus.
Goldwind fell to the third position globally, with 7 per cent less new capacity year on year, but had a tremendous year in China relative to its compatriots. It outpaced the next closest OEM in China by more than 4.5GW, as no other Chinese turbine OEM installed more than 2GW in 2016 compared to 6.4GW for Goldwind.
Gamesa jumped one position in 2016, beating its new associate, Siemens, for the fourth position in the global rankings. Siemens fell to the fifth spot globally in 2016, as it installed less new capacity onshore and offshore compared to 2015. Although it dominated the offshore sector, namely in Germany and The Netherlands, it added 30 per cent less capacity onshore in 2016 than in 2015.