May 2013

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In this post I want to show some figures about the evolution of the wind sector worldwide, both on the demand and supply side, and what happened in 2012.

From my point of view as Vestas employees the biggest new has been that GE is now the biggest wind turbine manufacturer. They now have a market share around 15% percent, with Vestas slightly below (14%) still winning the battle of the installed capacity.

The market is fragmented, with 10 more or less big companies and several smaller ones. It’s peculiar that the “small” manufacturers together have sold more than 20% of the installed turbines: apparently, they are not so small.

The Chinese manufacturers (Goldwind, Sinovel, Mingyang, etc.) felt the pain of a slowing internal market, falling down in the market share fight. Basically, they install only “at home”, in a closed, protectionist Brazilian style environment.

About 45 GW have been installed in our planet last year (2012), with an increase of 19% of the installed capacity. Right now there are about 286 GW of installed turbines.

Installed GWCumulative

Apparently in 2013 the installation of new turbines is slowing down, although figures are only preliminary.

The country with the biggest number of wind turbines is China, with around 54.000 WTGs, followed by the USA with 51.000. Of course they are the biggest markets in the planet.

If you wonder how many turbines are installed in the whole planet, the cumulative figure is around 222.000 machines.

In Europe, Germany is leading the sector with around 23 thousand machines, followed closely by Spain with over 20.000. Looking the distribution of installed capacity by continent Europe is still ahead:

Installed capacity (2012, GW)

Offshore is developing quickly in Europe, thanks to the Mega-projects in Germany and in the UK. Global installed offshore capacity is above 5.000 MW, usually concentrated in very big wind farms. Preferred foundation technology has been monopile (if you are interested in the subject, you can read more here about offshore WTG foundations).

As you will probably know the market is moving towards biggest turbines, being the average size of the newly installed generators around 2 MW.

Regarding owners, Iberdrola is the company with the most installed MW (13K), followed by 2 companies that I don’t know, Chinese Longyuan (10K) and NextEra Energy Resources, from the States (about 10 GW as well).

To close the post, the answer to a typical question regarding wind energy:

What is the contribution of wind power to the global electricity generation?

About 3%.

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