Vestas reclaims top spot - FTI

WORLDWIDE: Vestas has retaken first place in leading OEMs, while Siemens has fallen out of the top five for the first time since 2012, according to the preliminary findings of advisory firm FTI Consulting.

Vestas reclaimed top spot in FTI's rankings after dominating the US market
Vestas reclaimed top spot in FTI's rankings after dominating the US market

In a preview of its Global Wind Market Update 2016, which will be released in March, FTI found Vestas was the largest supplier of wind turbines last year.

It reclaimed top spot from Chinese OEM Goldwind, which fell to third behind GE, as a result of the slowing Chinese market.

Vestas' position was improved by its strong performance in the US, becoming the leading OEM there, ahead of domestic supplier GE.

The Danish firm said it delievered over 9.6GW of new installations worldwide in 2016.

GE also benefited from the growing US market, as developers rushed to begin projects ahead of the phase-out of the production tax credit (PTC), which takes affect this year.

Gamesa improved to fourth, and Enercon to fifth as they leapfrogged German supplier Siemens, which has fallen out of FTI's top five OEMs for the first time since 2012.

Siemens' lower ranking was mainly due to a quieter year in offshore wind, a market in which it dominates, and losing out to GE and Vestas in the US.

In 2016, Siemens agreed the deal to acquire Gamesa and to combine the wind turbine manufacturers. The merger is set to be completed in the first half of 2017.

Gamesa improved on its position by a strong showing in India and emerging markets.

Manufacturer 2016 Rank 2015 Rank
Vestas 1st 2nd
GE 2nd 3rd
Goldwind 3rd 1st
Gamesa 4th 5th
Enercon 5th 6th

source: FTI Consulting

FTI also said German firm Nordex returned to the top ten as a result of its takeover of Acciona Wind Power from April 2016.

Other findings from FTI's report show a 14% drop in total installations worldwide last year, mostly as a result of China's decreased total.

"The drop in wind power installations in 2016 has brought the wind industry back to reality, as 2015 was an unusual year due to strong demand in China ahead of a change in feed-in-tariffs," said Feng Zhao, a senior director at FTI Consulting.

"The relatively poor performance of Chinese turbine OEMs in 2016 has shown that relying heavily on the home market for growth is not a guarantee for sustainable success," Zhao added.

FTI also said 2016 was the first year in which solar became the leading non-hydro renewable energy source in 2016. It beat wind on price in auctions held in Mexico.

"We view this as positive news because the competition is certain to create another wave of technology innovation in the wind industry in order to further bring down the [levelised cost of energy] and make renewable energy even more competitive and affordable," said FTI senior managing director Aris Karcanias.

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