A new report highlighting trends in the wind industry for all of 2016 shows that though wind power has become firmly entrenched as part of the broader global energy system, the number of new installations was down compared with 2015 due to a decrease in activity in China – which also shook things up in terms of global wind turbine supplier rankings.
According to a Navigant Research report, “World Wind Energy Market Update 2017,” new wind turbine installations exceeded 54 GW last year. This reflects a downturn of 14% annually from 2015’s record year of 63.1 GW.
Notably, Vestas, which regained its longtime No. 1 status globally for annual wind installations, experienced double-digit growth rates (as did most of its competitors), the report says.
In terms of new annual capacity for 2016, following Vestas – which took a firm first place, says Navigant – the other top 10 wind turbine vendors (in order) were GE, Goldwind, Gamesa, Enercon, Siemens, Nordex, Envision, Ming Yang and United Power.
On the contrary, in 2015, according to Navigant’s “World Wind Energy Market Update 2016,” Chinese manufacturer Goldwind unseated Vestas as the leader.
Also in 2015, the 63.1 GW of added global wind capacity reflected a 23.2% increase from the 51 GW installed in 2014. As opposed to 2016, Navigant attributed much of 2015’s growth to China’s then-booming industry.
In 2016, other major markets, including the U.S., India and Europe, showed consistent and stable wind deployments, according to the report. In fact, growth occurred in almost every wind market outside of China – from the long-established European countries to new markets in Latin America, Asia Pacific, Africa and elsewhere.
Policy assessment in the report also shows that competitive power contract auctions continue to sweep across many countries’ wind markets – in turn, helping to push the cost of wind power down.
“The wind industry in 2016 had another stellar year with 54.3 GW of new wind capacity added,” says Jesse Broehl, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “The drop in capacity installation in China, plus recent mergers and acquisitions, shook up the annual ranking and market shares of global wind turbine manufacturers. As a result, more Western turbine vendors are in the top 10 ranking in 2016 versus 2015 – some with record capacity additions.”