A tough year, but Vestas is still the world champion

Vestas held on to top spot, while Goldwind rose to second place in the ranking of global wind turbine manufacturers last year, according to two leading consultancies.

While MAKE Consulting saw the Danish company increasing its share to 12.9% from 12% in 2010, BTM Consult had Vestas’ market share falling to 12.9% from 14.9%.

MAKE says: “Vestas was able to maintain its position as the world’s largest turbine original equipment manufacturer [OEM] in 2011 in spite of the strength of the Chinese turbine OEMs in their 17.6GW domestic market.” A strong showing in the Americas allowed Vestas to “distance itself from the rest of the top five market players”, it adds.

BTM’s Aris Karcanias says that although Vestas faces lot of challenges, it still “has a healthy margin at the top”. He fully expects the company to still be in top spot when next year’s rankings are published.

But analysts diverged sharply in their calculations of some companies’ performance. BTM had Gamesa rising to fourth place from eighth last year, with 8.2% of the market versus 6.6% in 2010. MAKE says Gamesa fell from sixth to ninth.

Karcanias says the Spanish company has achieved a positive turnaround. “As soon as Gamesa realised their home market wasn’t going to see the level of development they had hoped for, they set in motion a new strategy and implemented it, and they executed this exceptionally well.”

MAKE points out that its figures are based on connected capacity, rather than just installed. It says Gamesa’s result was significantly affected by 300MW it installed for Iberdrola in the US not being logged as connected by the end of the year.

BTM’s figures use installed capacity. It says that makes it easier to standardise data from a large number of companies, and that it is harder to confirm whether capacity is grid-connected.

In another notable contrast, MAKE had Germany’s Siemens rising to fifth place with a 7.6% market share, while BTM placed it ninth with 6.3%.

But BTM says Siemens is likely to be able to exploit its commanding offshore position. “The offshore market is growing in importance and their leading position means there is a good chance they will move up in the coming period.”

In China, MAKE notes that leading independent power producers are “increasingly focused on using turbines with stronger performance and superior product quality rather than lowest capital cost. This has led to Goldwind recapturing leadership in China, while Sinovel and Dongfang dropped in both regional and global rankings”.

BTM says Sinovel may have been affected by its dispute with erstwhile US component supplier AMSC. Karcanias adds: “It’s not necessarily that they haven’t performed. Others, like Goldwind, United Power and Ming Yang, have simply improved and gained traction. In some circles, Goldwind has been considered as a bit of gem, so it has come as no surprise they have moved up.”

BTM expects installations in China to fall to 15GW this year, accelerating consolidation as the smaller domestic players are bought up or go out of business. It will also increase Chinese companies’ efforts to gain a foothold in international markets.

BTM's top 10 wind turbine manufacturers by new installations in 2011. (Last year’s percentage in brackets)

Vestas 12.9% (14.9%)

Goldwind 9.4% (9.5%)

GE 8.8% (9.6%)

Gamesa 8.2% (6.6%)

Enercon 7.9% (7.2%)

Suzlon Group 7.7% (6.9%)

Sinovel 7.3% (11.1)

United Power 7.1% (4.2%)

Siemens 6.3% (5.9%)

Ming Yang 2.9% (-)

MAKE's top 10 wind turbine manufacturers by new installations in 2011. (Last year’s percentage in brackets)

1 Vestas 12.9% (12%)

2 Goldwind 8.8% (10%)

3 Enercon 7.6% (7%)

4 Suzlon Group 7.6% (6%)

5 Siemens 7.6% (5%)

6 GE 7.4% (10%)

7 Sinovel 7.2% (11%)

8 United Power 7.0% (4%)

9 Gamesa 6.4% (7%)

10 Ming Yang 2.9% (-)