Editor's view: a summer marred by losses

Wind power in Europe was not looking particularly healthy even before the pandemic struck.

Deliveries to Parkwind's Northwester 2 project off Belgium was MHI Vestas’ main source of H2 revenue.
Deliveries to Parkwind's Northwester 2 project off Belgium was MHI Vestas’ main source of H2 revenue.

Google Translate

There were some bright spots -- the rapid pace of growth in the offshore sector and the reawakening of the Spanish market among them -- but "sluggish", "struggling" and "slowdown" has characterised progress in too many countries over recent years.

We have seen the effects of policymaking inertia most clearly felt by Europe’s turbine OEMs with a series of mergers, acquisitions, and, in the notable case of Senvion, bankruptcy.

And then Covid-19 struck.

The virus’s impact on the balance sheets of wind energy’s leading players — manufacturers, component suppliers and developers alike — is now becoming apparent. It makes for some uncomfortable reading.

Coincidence or not, the long, hot summer of 2020 marked the departure from office of a number of the wind industry’s most senior figures. Chief executives such as Henrik Poulsen of Ørsted, Markus Tacke at Siemens Games and Magnus Hall at Vattenfall have been among the most influential leaders in the sector for many years.

We have highlighted six of the biggest and most recent departure announcements in this issue, although a case could have been made for adding more.

They leave big shoes to fill, but the summer of 2020 does look the season when the wind-power torch was passed to a  new generation.

The outlook is a little rosier in the US, where new installations hit a Q2 record of 2.5GW despite the pandemic. However, this flurry of activity is being driven by the need to qualify for tax credits that are due to expire at the end of this year. The boom-and-bust cycle of wind development in the US looks set to continue.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in