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Chinese activity drove global wind turbine orders to new record in Q2

© Shutterstock / maple90Post Thumbnail

Global wind turbine orders hit 43 gigawatts (GW) in the second quarter of the year, a new record.

  • Orders placed for wind turbines have risen by 36% year-on-year, with particular growth within the Chinese and European markets.
  • Demand has been driven by ambitious decarbonisation targets and the rapid adoption of new technologies. In the US, however, tough market conditions continue to limit wind turbine orders.
  • The passage of the IRA bill is expected to bring an increase in US activity, setting the overall wind turbine market on track for a record-breaking year.

According to research carried out by Wood Mackenzie, that figure equates to an estimated $18.1 billion.

It also represents a 36% year-on-year rise in orders, driven primarily by activity in China.

With ambitious decarbonisation targets, China aims to support an estimated average build of more than 55 GW a year over the next decade.

In Q2 alone, the East Asian giant accounted for a record 35 GW of activity, and is at 45 GW so far in 2022.

Order intake in Europe picked up with 3.8 GW of purchases, doubling its Q1 activity, while movement in the US remained slow, with less than 2 GW through the first half of the year.

For just the third time ever, the global order intake for offshore wind in Q2 topped 6 GW.

Developers in the Chinese market galvanised the largest ever H1 firm order book for the offshore wind sector, comprising 74% of capacity.

Offshore order intake in China has now increased consecutively for three quarters, following a nearly year-long lull, Wood Mackenzie said.

Luke Lewandowski, a research director at the consultancy group, said: “Goldwind, Mingyang and Envision were all very active in Q2 with projects in China, accounting for more than 26 MW of activity between them.”

Seven Chinese turbine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) – with Envision, Mingyang, and Goldwind in the first three positions – recorded enough firm order capacity to rank in the global top 10 for order intake through the first half of 2022.

“Rapid technology adoption and government support have catapulted China to this leading position,” Mr Lewandowski added.

Buoyed by China, global activity is on a record pace through the first two quarters of 2022, with a total 61 GW ordered.

This is 13% higher than H1 2021, and is the highest half-year ever recorded.

Mr Lewandowski said: “China is surging and we are seeing strength in Europe too. The US is where demand has been sluggish. This is due to tough market conditions, such as labor cost increases, inflation and supply chain disruptions.

“As a result, securing new orders in the US has been difficult, which has had a negative impact on OEMs dependent on the market, primarily Western-based OEMs.

“However, with the passage of the IRA bill in the US, Wood Mackenzie anticipates a boost in activity over the second half of the year.

“With these new incentives, wind power projects have become more economically viable and thus more competitive compared to conventional technologies.

“If procurement of wind turbines in China continues at its current pace and intake activity picks up in the US, the wind turbine market could be set for a record year.”

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