By - Jim Vess

Global wind turbine orders set a record in Q2 2019 led by U.S. and Chinese markets

Energize Weekly, September 11, 2019

Global wind turbine orders in the second quarter of 2019 were 111 percent year-over-year to 31 gigawatts (GW) of capacity and set a new quarterly record, according to industry analyst Wood Mackenzie.

The 31 GW of orders easily outstripped the previous record of 13.2 GW set in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to Wood Mackenzie’s Global Wind Turbine Order Analysis. The year with the most wind farm construction was 2015 when approximately 64 GW of capacity went online.

China and the U.S. were the big drivers of the increase having placed a combined 79 GW of orders in the last four years. The record was set in the second quarter of 2019 even with a 41 percent year-over-year decline in orders from Europe.

Developers moved to get projects going before 2020 when subsidies are cut in both China and the U.S.

Chinese orders nearly tripled to 17 GW in the 2019 second quarter when compared to the same quarter in 2018.

The bulk of the capacity, 71 percent, was for onshore projects in Northern China. The order volume for each of the five major developers in China was more than 1 GW.

“The record quarter in China included more than 3 GW of offshore capacity, nearly 2 GW more than in Q2 2018 and an 800-MW [megawatt] increase on the previous quarterly record in the country (Q1 2019). This added to a backlog of nearly 12.5 GW,” Luke Lewandowski director of Wood Mackenzie’s Americas Power & Renewables Research, said in a statement.

China, the U.S. and Brazil accounted for 91 percent of the global capacity orders in the quarter.

For the fifth straight quarter, Danish manufacturer won the largest share of orders – 5.7 GW.

“Despite a massive quarter for orders in China, diversity in the market – illustrated by seven OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] with more than 1 GW of order capacity – prevented a dominant leader, which allowed Vestas to retain the top spot,” the Wood Mackenzie report said.

Among the other turbine manufacturers with orders of more than 1 GW were Sewind, Mingyang, Goldwind and DEC.

The big demand for turbines pushed prices higher, as did the demand for the larger, newer and more expensive models coming onto the market.

“Newer models in the market and demand for larger turbines in Brazil caused pricing quotes to rise,” Lewandowski said.

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