Turbines deals — 2014 and 2013 compared
It has been a relatively good June for wind power. More than 1.7GW of turbines have been bought, almost a 200% increase on the same period in 2013. Based on the $1 million per megawatt rule, investment in these projects equates to around $170 billion, more than Russia's annual oil and gas exports.
Beyond the topline figure, the turbine deals over the last month reveal two things. First, much of this growth seems to be coming from emerging markets. Second, it is largely a case of new companies taking up the extra orders, not the old favourites taking the lion's share.
The biggest markets appear to be Brazil and Turkey. In Brazil Alstom and Acciona took the orders with the help of supplier status from the BNDES development bank. In Turkey it is Vestas and Nordex.
Although the countries are on opposite sides of the world, the turbines bear similarities with the low-to-medium range covered. In Brazil, the machines were largely Alstom's 2.7MW ECO122, and the Acciona AW125/3000, both low-wind turbines. Looking at the sales data, you have to have turbines capable of operating in the 7.5-6.0 m/s range if you want to succeed.
Despite the drastic rise on last year's figures, the share of Vestas and Nordex have changed little. In 2013, Nordex picked up orders in South Africa (134MW) and Sweden (72MW). Vestas took orders in the same two regions, plus Uruguay and Croatia to total 277MW.
Nordex has always excelled in picking up orders in new markets, especially those that are too small to require any local content rules. This allows the company to export from its German factories.
Elsewhere, GE appears on the 2014 list, unlike last year, when the US market was crippled by the failure to renew its production tax credit. This year, the US firm picked up a 400MW order from New Generation Power for a project in Texas. Again it was for a low-wind turbine, in this case the GE 1.7.