Global wind-turbine order intake was up 20% in Q4 2018 year-to-year (YoY) to nearly 18GW, surpassing 2016’s record by 5.4 GW, according to new research from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.
The report, Global Wind Turbine Order Analysis: Q1 2019, revealed the majority of regions recorded an increase in firm order capacity YoY in Q4 2018. However, this trend was not replicated in the U.S., which saw a decline primarily due to less demand for safe harbor qualification investment under 60% tax credits.
What’s happening with offshore wind?
“Demand in the offshore wind sector impacted technology mix and turbine rating segmentation of the 2018 order activity. Industry announced nearly 8 GW of offshore order capacity in 2018, beating the previous high in 2016 by nearly 2 GW,” explained Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables Research Director, and Report Author, Luke Lewandowski. “Wind turbines rated 8 MW or higher comprised over 40% of offshore order capacity in 2018, with MHI Vestas accounting for 64% of this ratings segment.
Lewandowski added: “In terms of further activity in this space, seven OEMs secured orders in China and three separate OEMs secured firm orders outside of China. Additionally, demand for MHI Vestas technology significantly contributed to the increasing share of direct drive technology over the past couple of years.”
Vestas leading the intake charge
As noted in the Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables report, the share of turbines ordered in the 3.5-4.99-MW segment increased in 2018, with only 10% attributed to offshore orders in China.
“Ten turbine OEMs won orders in this [3.5-4.99-MW] rating segment in 2018, with Vestas (56%), SGRE (13%) and Nordex Group (12%) topping the list for largest order capacity,” said Mr. Lewandowski. “Demand in China and India continued to dominate the 2-2.99-MW segment in 2018 and received a boost from repowering demand in the U.S. The latter is a segment that has emerged as a key strategic battleground within the industry recently.”
“Vestas crushed firm order intake in 2018. The company’s 5.5 GW haul in Q4 represented more than the full year intake of all OEMs, other than the top three,” explained Lewandowski. “Western turbine OEMs claimed the top four positions in the ranking of full-year order intake volume, ranging from 14.2 GW for Vestas to 4.8 GW for Nordex. The latter posted strong order intake in Q4 (1.8 GW), providing some distance from Goldwind in the full-year standings. Four Chinese turbine OEMs ranked in the top 10 for full-year firm order capacity, although all except SEwind announced less capacity QoQ in Q4.”
What lies ahead ?
Global wind-turbine pricing remains relatively stable QoQ, though it may increase in certain markets.
“Demand for new turbine models ahead of policy expirations and targets has started to fill order books as OEMs transition production lines, which has caused a modest uptick in pricing,” Lewandowski said. “As transmission availability and permitting challenges increase the complexity of developable areas, we see an increasing demand on innovation and customized equipment.”