GE eyes European share progress

Wind turbine manufacturer GE aims to continue its push to raise market share in Europe as it seeks to reduce its historic reliance on the US market, GE’s vice-president for renewables says.

“There are some nice markets in Europe,” says Anne McEntee, mentioning the UK and Turkey, as well as Russia — despite the current political uncertainty around its intervention in Ukraine.

“We think we have the products to win,” she adds, without giving a specific target for the percentage of market share that GE expects to gain in Europe. McEntee says the company is “clearly focusing on international growth,” adding that two thirds its sales were outside the US in 2013, albeit in what was a very slow year in its home market.

GE announced a series of European orders to coincide with EWEA 2014, including 110MW of orders for its “brilliant” 2.5-120 turbine in Germany, to developers Juwi, Abo-Wind, Max Bogl Wiesner and Pfalzwerke.

Outside of Germany, GE Wind announced the sale of another 43 turbines to a range of developers across France, Scotland and Sweden.

In France, GE will deliver 27 of its 2.85MW turbines to projects backed by the developer Boralex in the northern regions of Picardy and Nord Pas-de-Calais. SSE Renewables has ordered ten of GE’s 1.6MW turbines for its Langhope Rig project in the Scottish Borders region. Meanwhile, in southern Sweden, GE has sold six of its 1.6-100 turbines and a five-year service agreement to the Erikshester project, which is owned by Eksjö Energi and nearly a dozen other investors.

“We want to expand business in Europe, and do it in a profitable way,” says Cliff Harris, general manager of GE’s European renewable-energy business. “Our strategy is to look at things like grid infrastructure and battery storage to make wind complementary with existing generation sources, as well as make sure our service provision is good.”

He says GE is “doing well” in Germany, where the market is dominated by local manufacturer Enercon, with Denmark’s Vestas in number-two spot.

Harris has said in the past he would like to double GE’s market share in Europe from 6% in 2012 to 12%in 2015.