Vestas installed 20% of new turbines in 2018

One in five wind turbines installed in 2018 was produced by Vestas, as consolidation among top suppliers deepened, according to analysis by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

Vestas supplied 20.3% of the 20,461 turbines installed worldwide last year, according to GWEC's Supply Side Analysis
Vestas supplied 20.3% of the 20,461 turbines installed worldwide last year, according to GWEC's Supply Side Analysis

Last year, 37 manufacturers installed 20,641 turbines worldwide for a combined capacity of 50,617MW.

In comparison, 2017 saw 46 manufacturers install 21,691 turbines worldwide for a combined capacity of 52,150MW.

Danish manufacturer Vestas supplied 19.3% of these units, followed by Goldwind (16.0%) and Siemens Gamesa (10.2%).

Vestas cemented its top position due to a strategy of covering all regions as well as its strong performance in the Americas, while Goldwind’s improved performance in its domestic Chinese market saw it leapfrog Siemens Gamesa into second place, GWEC said in its Supply Side Analysis.

Chinese consolidation

Eight out of the top 15 manufacturers last year are based in China.

However, if their domestic market were excluded, only Goldwind would crack the top ten, as no other Chinese manufacturer installed enough capacity overseas, GWEC CEO Ben Backwell noted.

The top 15 turbine suppliers in 2018 is completed by GE, Envision, Enercon, Mingyang, Nordex, United Power, Sewind, Suzlon, Senvion, Windey, CSIC Haizhuang, and XEMC.

Feng Zhao, GWEC’s strategy director, explained there was further consolidation on the supply side in 2018.

The top 15 turbine suppliers accounted for 93.2% of all new capacity installed last year, up 2.4 percentage points from 2017.

"The severe competition resulting from the transition from feed-in tariff to auctions pushed another seven small turbine OEMs out of the market last year.

"This trend is likely to continue in China. Although there are 19 local turbine OEMs active in this country, the upcoming auction and the central government’s goal to reach grid parity in the early 2020s will certainly force many small and medium-sized Chinese turbine vendors to give up their wind turbine production activities," he added.


Conventional high-speed geared technology remained the most popular choice last year, accounting for 69.7% of turbines installed in 2018.

Direct drive turbines’ market share dropped last year — 20.8% for permanent-magnet generators (PMGs) and 5.8% for electrically excited synchronous generator (EESG).

GWEC stated this was primarily due to the reduction in the number of turbines installed by German manufacturer Enercon, which favours direct drive technology.

The top suppliers in each of the three technology categories — high-speed geared drive, medium-speed geared drive and direct drive — were Vestas, Mingyang and Goldwind respectively.

Power rating

The average rated capacity of new turbines installed last year was 2.452MW — up from 2.404MW in 2017.

On average, the UK, the world leader in offshore wind, which typically features more powerful turbines than onshore, had the highest rated turbine capacity (3.95MW) in 2018.

It was followed by Germany (3.789MW) and Denmark (3.776MW), which also have strong offshore wind sectors.

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