March 15, 2011 / 5:31 PM / 9 years ago

China rivals narrow gap on wind leader Vestas

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas retained its world-leading market position in 2010 despite fierce competition from Chinese rivals rising up the ranks, a report published on Tuesday showed.

“Vestas maintained its leading market position in 2010 based on the strength of its global install activity,” MAKE Consulting, a specialist in the wind energy industry, said in an extract from the report.

It said Vestas had 12 percent of the global market, which totaled 38 gigawatts of wind turbines in 2010.

“After making a strong entrance into the top five rankings in 2009, Chinese wind turbine OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) — Sinovel and Goldwind — continued to climb up the rankings and both placed in the top four (in 2010),” MAKE said.

Sinovel leapfrogged U.S. giant GE for the No. 2 wind turbine manufacture position globally, MAKE Consulting said.

GE slipped to the No. 3 spot, Goldwind was fourth biggest, and Germany’s Enercon rounded out the top five, which were the same five companies that held the five top ranks in 2009.

“Chinese wind turbine OEMs continue to shake up the global rankings,” MAKE Consulting Managing Director Morten Keller said in a statement. “This trend will likely continue as MAKE estimates that the China market will account for 38 percent of global installations between 2011 and 2016.”

Remarkable growth in China had a significant impact on global market share positioning as most non-Chinese wind turbine makers were unable to capitalize on growth in that market, the Denmark-based consultancy said.

SEVEN OF TOP-15 CHINESE

That created considerable competition particularly at the top of the rankings where only two percentage points separated the top four turbine makers in 2010, according to MAKE, which is one of only a few specialized consultancies who publish an annual ranking of wind turbine makers.

Chinese manufacturers accounted for four of the top 10 and seven of the top 15 positions in the rankings, it said. By comparison, European wind turbine makers held six positions in the top 15 in 2010, it added.

New capacity in the U.S. market dropped by 44 percent in 2010, which hit turbine makers whose position depends on success in that market, MAKE said.

“Vestas’s U.S. market share eroded significantly in 2010 due to low order activity in previous years, a trend shared by other turbine OEMs as the market stalled,” MAKE Consulting said.

The top four turbine manufacturers in Europe held their positions in 2010, with GE making the biggest improvement in the top 10 from the previous year, it said.

European manufacturers accounted for 75 percent of installations offshore in 2010, led by Vestas and German’s Siemens, which improved their market positions, the consultancy said.

The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) forecast on Tuesday that global wind power capacity will more than double by 2015 — growing to 450 gigawatts from 194.4 GW at the end of 2010.

The GWEC said in its five-year forecast that the global wind market would add more than 40 GW of new capacity this year.

MAKE Consulting gave the following ranking of wind turbine manufactures, and their shares of the total 2010 market:

Company Country Market share (pct)

1) Vestas Denmark 12

2) Sinovel China 11

3) GE United States 10

4) Goldwind China 10

5) Enercon Germany 7

6) Gamesa Spain 7

7) Dongfang (DEC) China 7

8) Suzlon India 6

9) Siemens Germany 5 10) United Power China 4 11) Mingyang China 3 12) REpower* Germany 2 13) Sewind China 2 14) Nordex Germany 2 15) XEMC China 1

Others 12

NOTE: German manufactuer REpower is owned by India’s Suzlon.

Reporting by John Acher; Editing by Clara Ferreira-Marques and Andrew Callus

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