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31 May 2019

Wind orders up 7% overall down in Europe, AsiaPac – up elsewhere

Every quarter the Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables service counts up the order intake for wind turbines, and says that for Q1 it rose 7% or 875 MW for 2019 over Q1 2018 to around 13.7 GW in total, with Denmark’s Vestas firmly in the lead.

The consulting group shares the detail through its “Global Wind Turbine Order Analysis: Q2 2019”, and the pattern for the quarter is that in China, North America and Latin America orders were up, but Europe’s order book crashed badly.

Developers in China, Latin America and North America collectively ordered 3.1 GW more than last year and that Europe, AsiaPacific, Middle East and Africa ordered 2GW less than last year. Wood Mackenzie says the reasons were down to regulatory transitions – we presume this means expired subsidies, not yet refreshed.

One key Chinese market was offshore which grew some 66% to 1.7 GW of firm orders in Q1 2019. Chinese seas are primarily suitable for fixed bottom wind turbines, rather than floating, and suffer from soft sea-beds, which require deeper foundations. This seems to be a market which only local developers  understand, and they mostly buy from Chinese suppliers. Mackenzie said, “Five Chinese OEMs each won 300MW+ of offshore orders in China as pressure mounts to comply with provincial grid-connection targets in China for offshore. This resulted in Chinese OEMs accounting for 77% of all offshore capacity ordered globally.

It also said that offshore order intake in Europe fell 55% and was mostly a single order for 487 MW placed in Belgium. Technically this order was announced in December 2018, not in 2019 at all and went to Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for the SeaMade offshore wind power project across two sites adding up to the 487 MW, using the SG 8 MW turbine with 167-meter diameter blades.

Wood MacKenzie said that offshore orders were above 2 GW for just the 3rd time, with more than 10 GW ordered throughout the past 12 months. This doesn’t tally with one of the key wind organizations Irena, the International renewable Energy Agency, who’s capacity statistics show just 4.5 GW of offshore wind added in 2018, which takes in 3 of those quarters, but then again it is counting commissioned sites, rather than fresh orders which may not get installed for up to two years.

Vestas won the largest share of orders for the fourth straight quarter, continuing its success in multiple rating segments. The Vestas V150-4.X and Siemens SG 4.5-145 models recorded the most order capacity, respectively, in Q1, with Nordex’s N149/4X00 also in the top 10 ranking for onshore turbine models. The Vestas V150-4.X and V120-2.2 turbines both ranked in the top 5 onshore turbine models ordered in Q1, as Vestas won more than 500 MW of orders in North America, Latin America and APAC. Five Chinese OEMs also ranked in the global top ten.