Germany's Siemens AG is forecasting a resumption of growth in the global onshore wind market in 2010, the CEO of its Wind Power unit Andreas Nauen told Reuters

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The global economic downturn dealt a blow to renewable energy companies, with makers of solar cells and modules as well as those in onshore wind hit hard by a bottleneck in project financing and customer delays.

Nauen said demand for offshore wind turbines had continued to expand in the current year but on onshore had been flat. “We expect the same size in 2009 (for onshore compared with 2008). We expect that it would go upwards next year,” he told Reuters in comments published on Thursday.

Siemens, whose products range from trains and turbines to light bulbs and hearing aids, estimated the total global wind power market this year at around 30 billion euros ($44 billion).

Wind Power is a unit of Siemens’ Energy sector, whose robust growth cushioned recessionary effects that depressed the industrial conglomerate’s order intake by 14 percent in the year through September 2009.

Siemens is the top supplier worldwide to the offshore market, based on installed capacity of around 10,000 megawatts, and has an order backlog of around 6 billion euros.

It ranks sixth-biggest supplier to the wind market behind Denmark’s Vestas, General Electric Co, Spain’s Gamesa, Germany’s Enercon and India’s Suzlon but is aiming to join the top three by 2012.

Nauen said more and more utilities in Europe such as Vattenfall, E.ON, RWE, EDF and Iberdrola were developing large offshore projects and the company expected to profit from this trend.

“All the utilities have to fulfil a certain share of renewables and they have to balance many of their portfolio with green electricity and wind is the fastest and most economical way to have this,” he said.

Siemens aims to generate 25 billion euros of sales from its “green” technologies in 2011 and bought Israel’s Solel Solar Systems this year for about $418 million.

Nauen declined comment on any consolidation issues in the wind power industry.

“We have some large international players there. You have now the Chinese competition coming up . You have the few smaller Europeans. It’s hard to predict and I really don’t have any prediction from Siemens whether (there would be any consolidation) and how any consolidation might look like.”

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