Marked by regulatory uncertainty in Europe and tightening policy measures in China, global wind turbine orders tumbled 30% in the first half of this year, according to new research from MAKE Consulting.
MAKE says core growth markets, such as those in the European Union and Asia-Pacific, failed to maintain their previous momentum. The Chinese market, previously one the largest contributors to wind power growth, experienced a 60% year-over-year slowdown in orders due to a continued focus on grid connecting existing wind power capacity. Order intake in India fell sharply as well, as policy uncertainty took its toll on the market, MAKE adds.
The sovereign debt crisis and related policy uncertainty across Europe continue to negatively impact wind power development in the region. Tough economic conditions have driven order activity to switch from traditional Western and Southern European markets toward emerging Eastern European markets such as Poland and Turkey.
In the midst of this global slump in wind turbine orders, the Americas proved to be very resilient, with orders up 13%. This was driven by developers in the U.S. attempting to squeeze in wind projects before the expiration of the production tax credit and by significant activity in Latin American markets, such as Chile and Uruguay.
MAKE notes that the global offshore market had a quiet first half, with just one significant order. However, with around 7 GW of supply to 2015 already contracted and a further 3 GW of potential orders – offshore wind is the industry's brightest prospect.
MAKE also finds pockets of activity in emerging markets in Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe. Additionally, with almost 29 GW of conditional orders, the potential for a recovery in orders exists in 2013.