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Vestas retained top spot in 2019 global wind turbine market

Denmark-based Vestas Wind Systems A/S retained its spot as the world's leading wind turbine manufacturer in 2019, but its lead narrowed as competitors General Electric Co. and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA carved out larger market shares in the U.S., according to BloombergNEF.

Vestas' share of the global market for onshore projects slipped by four percentage points in 2019 to 18%, the research firm found.

The broader wind turbine market, for onshore and offshore installations, continues to expand, the Feb. 18 report said: Global commissioning of wind turbines rose 22% year over year to 61 GW "thanks to a bumper year in China and the U.S., and an acceleration [of] offshore." The majority of the turbines, 88%, were on land.

The year 2020 promises a market expansion of 24%, with 75 GW expected to be installed both on land and at sea, BloombergNEF said.

"Underpinning each of the leading onshore players is a strong presence in either the U.S. or China," wrote Oliver Metcalfe, lead author of the report. "2020 is set to be another strong year for installations in China and the U.S., as developers rush to build before subsidies lapse, but uncertainty post 2020 could expose some bigger players unless they diversify to new growth markets."

The report said 2019 saw Vestas install 9.6 GW, Siemens Gamesa install 8.79 GW, Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology of China install 8.25 GW, and GE install 7.37 GW.

Almost half of all new megawatts installed in the U.S. came from General Electric, "enabling it to seize the top spot in its home market from Vestas," the report said.

Total onshore wind additions in 2019 were 30.4 GW in Asia-Pacific, 13.3 GW in the Americas, 9 GW in Europe, and 0.5 GW in Africa and the Middle East, the report said. Vestas in 2018 captured 22% of global onshore wind installations.

Siemens Gamesa's "offshore installations in European waters blew its competition away," with the company more than doubling its annual installations.

In the U.S., the Trump administration dealt the offshore wind industry a major setback in delaying permitting for the country's first major offshore wind project, Vineyard Wind LLC's 800-MW Vineyard Offshore Wind Project. Vineyard Wind, a joint venture of Avangrid Inc.'s Avangrid Renewables LLC and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners K/S, contracted with Vestas for 84 9.5-MW turbines. In a Feb. 5 earnings call, President and CEO Henrik Andersen said global demand drove the company's order intake to a record 17.9 GW, but he expressed disappointment in order intakes for its offshore segment.

Tom Harries, head of wind research at BloombergNEF, said that the "bumper year for offshore wind is just the start."

"If you look past a likely blip in 2020, installations are set to accelerate, breaking the 10-GW-a-year barrier in 2023," Harries said in the report. "This growth outlook has led to intense competition between turbine makers. At the moment, the advantage lies with the manufacturer selling the most powerful turbine."