Wind market to pick up 'sharply' in 2014 – MAKE

The global wind turbine market is likely to pick up sharply again in 2014 and hit a new record for installations, says analyst MAKE Consulting in its latest market-outlook update, which forecasts growth up to 2020.

MAKE says grid-connected wind capacity installed in 2012 was 48.4GW globally, up 19% year-on-year.  

In 2013, MAKE expects new installations to fall by 7%, with growth in Asia, Offshore, Latin America, Northern Europe and the Middle East/Africa offset by declines in Southern and Eastern Europe and North America, reflecting the impact of regulatory change in those markets.

Wind turbine manufacturers’ conditional and firm orders at the end of 2012 were down 13%, in line with expectations of a weaker 2013, MAKE says. However, it adds that pricing in all regions has stabilised after a period of sustained reductions.

In 2014, by contrast, MAKE expects another record year, with installations up 17%, as continued growth in Asia-Pacific, Offshore, Latin America, Middle East/Africa, plus a strong year in North America, offsets a slight decline in EU installations caused mostly by continuing weakness in Southern European markets. 

Reflecting the strong outlook for 2014, orders are expected to recover sharply this year.  The price outlook for turbines is mixed. Prices for 2.5MW+ turbines are increasing, but the sub-2.5MW category could remain under pressure, MAKE says.

Looking further ahead, between 2014 and 2016 global growth should flatten off before accelerating again in 2017. This is due to the impact of regulatory transition in Northern America offsetting global growth elsewhere in 2015-16. 

MAKE expects compound growth of 5.3% between 2017 and 2020, “as the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) for wind drops below grid parity.”

“MAKE Consulting believes that in spite of some economic and regulatory uncertainty, the long term growth story for wind is intact, with installed MWs expected to show CAGR to 2020 of 4.6% per annum,” the analyst says. “However, this does mask a certain amount of volatility in growth rates between 2013 and 2020.”