wind turbine
Image credit: Vattenfall

Orders made for wind turbine capacity reached $13,4 billion during the first quarter of 2020, according to new analysis from Wood Mackenzie.

This marks the second-highest first quarter on record, with orders equating to 14 GW of capacity.

The onshore wind energy market made up 85% (12.6 GW) of the capacity ordered during the first quarter.

Nine of the top 10 onshore wind turbine models sold during the first quarter of 2020 were introduced within the past two years, underscoring the rapid pace of technology evolution, evolving customer needs and competitive product positioning.

Related articles:
Subsidy cuts could halve profits of Chinese wind OEMs
Vestas sets a new world record in wind energy installation

Orders for projects in Japan and Taiwan accounted for 33% of Q1 global offshore wind turbine order intake and 42% of overall offshore demand in Asia Pacific, excluding China. MHI Vestas captured the entirety of this demand for offshore projects.

The deployment of higher-rated turbines continues to accelerate onshore, with the sector making up 45% of demand for models rated 5 to 6.99 MW during the first quarter of 2020.

Luke Lewandowski, research director at Wood Mackenzie, said: “Positive momentum from order negotiations in 2019 largely eased the potential severity of the pandemic’s impact on order intake in Q1.

“Onshore demand in Europe, primarily in Scandinavia, the UK and Poland, tempered weak order intake in traditional onshore markets, such as the US, India and Australia.”

Developers in China logged a feverish fifth consecutive quarter of more than 5 GW, according to the Wood Mackenzie report.

“Chinese demand has started to wane this year due to the impending expiry of China’s onshore subsidy coupled with the impact of coronavirus during the first quarter of 2020.

“A similar trend is occurring in Asia’s offshore sector, with average turbine rating and rotor diameter increasing year-over-year for projects in China where policy and environmental conditions necessitate a slower pace of technology evolution. However, in Taiwan, developers have already jumped to 9.0-9.99 MW turbine models.”