Global wind turbine order intake activity totaled approximately 26 GW in 2011, representing a 13% drop from 2010, finds a new report from MAKE Consulting.
However, the decrease was mainly due to drops in Europe and Asia. In fact, the Americas saw a 7% increase in wind turbine order intake, which MAKE Consulting attributes to the ‘boom’ before the ‘bust’ of the expiring production tax credit in the U.S., as well as strong markets in Ontario and Quebec, and a solid central tender auction in Brazil.
The Asia-Pacific region experienced the sharpest decline in order intake in fiscal year 2011. As China constitutes the lion's share of development in the Asia Pacific region, the nation's continuing issues with grid connectivity have negatively impacted regional order intake numbers, the report notes.
Europe maintained a stable position in its share of global order intake but recorded a 46% slowdown in the offshore segment that was offset by exceptional onshore performance in northern Europe, central Europe and eastern Europe.
Offshore order intake in Europe experienced a slowdown due to a large existing backlog and current development conditions in Germany and the U.K., where projects are delayed due to permitting and execution issues. In the Asia Pacific region, a sharp decline in offshore order intake activity was attributed to the absence of a Chinese offshore concession.
As competition in the wind turbine manufacturing industry continues to stiffen and order sizes continue to diminish, manufacturing companies are compelled to innovate and drive turbine evolution further, MAKE Consulting says.
While the American and Asia Pacific markets saw an uptick in order volumes in the 1.5 MW to 2.49 MW turbine segment, Europe experienced an increasing demand in the 2.5 MW to 2.99 MW turbine segment, the report adds.