4. MARCUS TACKE, CEO, Siemens Wind Power
It has been an interesting year for Tacke and Siemens. On the one hand, the company installed more than 5GW in 2014 globally and boosted its flagship offshore turbine's capacity to 7MW. It also started building Green Port Hull in the UK and won a 2GW framework deal in Egypt. Make Consulting said it was the world's biggest manufacturer in terms of installations.
But the company registered a €41 million loss for 2014. In the second quarter, offshore orders fell year on year, from €1.68 billion in 2013 to €1.41 billion in 2014. The trend continued with a 65% drop in third quarter.
The biggest challenge for Tacke will be protecting the company's position as the leading offshore provider, arguably facing in MHI-Vestas its biggest challenge since 2007, when it took number one position from Vestas. There will also be competition from Alstom and Adwen.
Tacke, who was former CEO for Siemens Industrial Power Business unit, was made EWEA president in 2014.
5. ANDREAS NAUEN, CEO, Senvion
The first time Nauen features here in his own right, he has actually been mentioned almost every year, usually cropping up in Suzlon chairman Tulsi Tanti's profile. Indeed, Suzlon's ownership of Senvion was the main reasons why Tanti was number seven last year.
Now Senvion is owned by US private-equity firm Centerbridge it remains to be seen how Nauen will run it. He has proved an admirable figurehead of Senvion since he arrived from Siemens in 2010, and his biggest achievement has been dealing with its owner Suzlon as the Indian parent grappled with a way to deal with its debts. Now, as the only stand-alone pure-player in offshore, Senvion also faces a challenge from MHI-Vestas. Onshore, it was one of four manufacturers to bring out a new low-wind machine at the recent Husum wind fair.
Nauen adds influence as chairman of the VDMA Power Tools trade association in Germany.
6. Hans-Dieter Kettwig, Managing director, Enercon
Enercon has been described as the Apple of the wind industry. Perhaps more accurate would be Churchill's description of the Eastern Bloc, because it can appear an enigma. Since founder Alloys Wobben stepped down, Enercon's representative in this list has flipped between Kettwig and Nicole Fritsch-Nehring.
Last year as with this, we have chosen Kettwig over Fritsch-Nehring. He is responsible for sales, as opposed to Fritsch-Nehring's role in product development. But if you want to elicit a quizzical look from an Enercon employee, ask them who is in charge.
For the company itself, it has been a solid year. According to Windpower Intelligence, the company installed around 2GW last year, mainly in its core German market, with some help from Canada and France among others. It also announced plans to launch a new 4MW turbine, as well as changes to existing models. However, the company's efforts to pursue litigation over its low-voltage ride-through technology (it failed to win in the UK) has reinforced the company's reputation as an outsider in the business.
7. Lars Bondo Krogsgaard, CEO, Nordex
One of this year's surprising industry departures was Nordex CEO Jürgen Zeschky. Last year's number five, Zeschky was another in the mould of Martin who took painful and necessary decisions to revive the manufacturer. Zeschky was one of the first to pull away from offshore and concentrate on low wind.
His replacement, Lars Bondo Krogsgaard, may be new to the role, but he is not new to the industry. He has been with Nordex since 2010, previously chief customer officer. He has also worked at Siemens and Dong Energy. Krogsgaard now finds himself heading a company that has just signed a merger with Acciona Windpower. For a medium-sized manufacturer, Nordex punches above its weight, combining a focus on medium-to-low wind sites with targeting medium-sized projects in the smaller emerging markets. The question remains how Acciona, now a major shareholder, will influence this strategy.
8. IGNACIO GALAN, CEO, Iberdrola
Galan was our first winner back in 2011 when Iberdrola was the biggest developer in the world. Times have changed since then, not least with Spain's decision to turn its back on the sector.
Yet, Iberdrola has continued to invest in wind. Last year, it brought projects online globally, including in Brazil and South Africa. It also added around 525MW in the UK, through its ScottishPower Renewables subsidiary, completing the 389MW West of Duddon Sands offshore (with Dong Energy) and 136MW Harestanes onshore sites.
9. HENRIK POULSEN, CEO, Dong Energy
Poulsen has been CEO of the Danish state-owned utility since 2012. His strategy — build big offshore projects, bring in a shareholder, manage the project — was set by his predecessor, but Poulsen has carried it on successfully. Last year, Dong brought online Westermost Rough, Borkum Riffgrund One (both with financial investors) and West of Duddon Sands (with Iberdrola). It acquired development rights to all of the UK 4GW Hornsea zone and the Massachusetts offshore zone in the US.
The biggest change for the company has been the 19% buy-in by Goldman Sachs. The €1.1 billion investment has meant Dong could continue to build big projects, but also allowed the US bank to veto any investments.
10. WU GANG, Chairman and CEO, Goldwind
Goldwind was the fourth biggest turbine manufacturer in the world in 2014, according to BTM Consult. Yet the closed nature of China's market means Wu Gang sits in tenth place. Goldwind has over 20% of China's market, and is still the most highly regarded Chinese turbine maker. Under Wu's direction, it has made efforts to expand overseas, and its mere 400MW installed elsewhere is still better than its domestic competitors'. Wu is also one of the most experienced wind chiefs in the world. But Goldwind seems to be lagging technically. It has shifted from its reliance on the Vensys 1.5MW machine to a 2.5MW model, but its 6MW offshore unit, under development for years, is still in testing.