Wind Capacity on Order Begins to Increase

Rows of wind turbines in a field, with mountains in the background

According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Washington, D.C., the U.S. wind industry added 9,132 megawatts (MW) of new wind capacity in 2019, which is the third strongest year ever for domestic installations. Another 4,367 MW were added in the first half of 2020.

In addition, according to the latest research by Wood Mackenzie, Annapolis, Md., this growth trend is occurring around the world. Wood Mackenzie’s report noted that Q2 of 2020 saw more than 17 gigawatts (GW) of wind turbine capacity ordered worldwide. This equates to $16 billion in value.

While Q2 of 2020 saw order intake of global wind turbines at a rate 45% lower than Q2 of 2019 (which was approximately 31 GW), it was higher than in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Orders in Q2 of 2016 were approximately 14 GW, orders in Q2 of 2017 were approximately 9 GW and orders in Q2 of 2018 were approximately 15 GW.

According to the report, the United States and China combined for a nearly 18 GW drop in Q2 of 2020 from Q2 of 2019. In fact, Q2 of 2019 represents a record in which developers in these nations accumulated a robust backlog ahead of policy changes scheduled for the year ahead.

However, a wave of offshore demand in Q2 of 2020 in countries such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and France helped to lift overall turbine order capacity despite the drops in China and the United States.

In fact, two turbine manufacturers—Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE), Zamudio, Spain, and MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, Aarhus, Denmark—landed more than a gigawatt of orders in Europe for new offshore models rated over 10 MW.

“This flurry of orders for 10 MW+ turbines in Q2 helped lift the average rating of global offshore orders to 7.5 MW,” said Luke Lewandowski, Wood Mackenzie director of Americas power and renewables research.

In addition, in Q2 of 2020, Chinese developers ordered more than 2 GW of offshore turbine capacity for the sixth consecutive quarter, according to Lewandowski.

“Developers continue to seek higher-rated onshore models to maximize site constraints, with SGRE, Vestas, and Nordex capturing all demand in Q2 for onshore models rated 5 MW or higher,” Lewandowski said.

Stay Informed Join our Newsletter

Having trouble finding time to sit down with the latest issue of
ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR? Don't worry, we'll come to you.