Top 10 Wind Turbine Makers For 2015: ‘The Year Of China’


China-based Goldwind has surged to the top of annual rankings of wind turbine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), according to respective 2015 reports from FTI Consulting and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Both reports say this was the first year a Chinese firm took the top spot as the world’s largest supplier of turbines.

According to FTI Consulting’s preliminary findings, which cover both the onshore and offshore wind markets, Goldwind – which was third in 2014 – displaced long-term No. 1 supplier Vestas, which took second in 2015’s rankings. GE moved up one position to third place, driven partly by its acquisition of Alstom; Siemens fell two positions to fourth place; and Gamesa went up three positions to secure fifth place. Long-standing top-10 supplier Suzlon dropped out of the top 10 rankings due to the sale of its subsidiary, Senvion, to Centerbridge Partners in January 2015, the report says.

For its part, BNEF notes it has focused its top-10 list solely on onshore wind. The company ranks Vestas in second place, with 7.3 GW commissioned – up 2.5 GW from 2014. The turbine maker pursued a global strategy and commissioned projects in 32 countries globally, says BNEF, which adds that GE fell from its 2014 first-place ranking to third in 2015, with 5.9 GW commissioned – 700 MW more than it commissioned in 2014.

Siemens tied for fourth place with Gamesa, as both companies installed 3.1 GW in 2015. Meanwhile, Enercon fell to sixth place, even though it continues to dominate its German home market, which accounted for 48% of its turbines commissioned in 2015.

BNEF says Goldwind’s 7.8 GW of commissioned capacity was buoyed by a surging Chinese market that installed a record 28.7 GW last year. Virtually all of Goldwind’s 2015 capacity was built in China – a market where foreign manufacturers accounted for less than 5% of market share, says the firm.

FTI Consulting also attributes Goldwind’s rise to the top of the rankings to the extraordinary growth seen in the Chinese wind market in 2015. The firm notes that five Chinese companies made its top-10 list, including CSIC Haizhuang, which moves into FTI’s rankings for the first time.

According to BNEF, four Chinese manufacturers featured in the bottom half of its ranking. Guodian fell to seventh place from sixth last year; Ming Yang and Envision tied for eighth place; and CSIC joins the list for the first time in 10 place, with 2 GW of installed capacity.

Amy Grace, head of wind research for BNEF, says, “It’s hardly surprising that five Chinese manufacturers made the top 10 ranking in a year where China contributed roughly half of the global capacity. It is more surprising how dominant Goldwind was in its domestic market.  The company commissioned more than two-and-a-half times the amount of capacity as the next largest Chinese manufacturer, Guodian.”

Feng Zhao, senior director in the FTI Consulting energy practice, adds, “For the wind industry, 2015 is the year of China.”

For offshore wind specifically, according to BNEF, Siemens was the No. 1 turbine manufacturer last year by a wide margin: The company commissioned 2.6 GW – more than four times that of second-ranked Adwen, a joint venture between Gamesa and Areva.

BNEF points out that if it combines both its offshore and onshore figures for 2015, there would be no change on its overall rankings for Goldwind, Vestas, GE, Gamesa, Enercon, Guodian or Ming Yang.  The biggest impact would be for Siemens, which would increase its capacity from 3.1 GW to 5.7 GW, but would still rank just behind GE.

With offshore included, Envision would add about 0.1 GW, which would not change its rank, and Senvion would add 0.3 GW, which would push it into the 10th position ahead of CSIC. CSIC would not longer be ranked.

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