Wind power will keep growing—just not as much as it has in the past five years

Danish wind-power analysts BTM Consult just released their 2008 wind market update, projecting a slowdown in annual wind-power installations for the next five years and a reshuffle among the big players in the wind-turbine business.

BTM expects global wind-power installations to total 343 gigawatts in 2013, not far from the global wind lobby’s own forecast of 332 gigawatts. That amounts to an average annual increase of about 16%. World wind-power installations today total about 120 gigawatts.


The big winner last year among turbine makers was General Electric, which has almost caught up to Denmark’s Vestas as the world’s leading turbine maker. Vestas had a global market share last year of 19.8%, down from 22.8% in 2007, while GE Energy captured 18.6% of the market, up from 16.6% in 2007.

Other big players in the top 10—which account for 85% of global turbine sales—include Spain’s Gamesa, Germany’s Siemens, India’s Suzlon, and China’s newcomers Sinovel and Goldwind.

The rise of powerful Chinese manufacturers is a double-edged sword for companies like Vestas and Gamesa. Chinese manufacturers are stealing back market share from foreign players right now.

But the explosive growth of the domestic Chinese turbine business and abundance of inexpensive turbines are also bringing down the costs of wind power there, enabling the country to expand its renewable-energy development ahead of even Beijing’s ambitious schedule, making the potential market bigger for all manufacturers.

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