Vestas Wind Systems A/S remained the world’s largest wind turbine maker last year, Navigant Consulting Inc.’s BTM Consult unit said in an annual study that lowered its forecast for the market through 2016.
Vestas retained its top spot with 12.9 percent of the market in 2011, topping Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. with a 9.4 percent share. General Electric Co. was third with 8.8 percent, Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica SA was next at 8.2 percent and Enercon GmbH fifth at 7.9 percent, Ringkoebing, Denmark-based BTM said today in an e-mailed statement.
Wind installations reached a record 41.7 gigawatts last year. While BTM said the market will continue to grow, it reduced its cumulative forecast for the five years through 2016 by 14 percent to almost 270,000 megawatts, citing the European credit crisis as denting confidence in the industry.
The downgrade in the forecast “is justified by the fact that the current sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone has led to panic across a number of crisis-stricken developed markets,” BTM said. “Such measures have applied pressure to reduce renewable incentives, which has had a detrimental impact on investor confidence in the wind industry.”
Spain, which in 2009 was the top wind energy installer in Europe according to Global Wind Energy Council data, this year suspended subsidies to new renewable installations as it reins in spending. The European share of new wind power fell last year to 24.5 percent of the global total from more than half five years ago, according to BTM.
China was the largest market last year, installing 17.6 gigawatts of turbines. The U.S., where a production tax credit that benefits wind power expires at the end of the year, installed 6.8 gigawatts. India put up 3.3 gigawatts of turbines and Germany led European nations at just over 2 gigawatts, BTM said.
The U.K. led in offshore wind installations, with more than 90 percent of the 470 megawatts of turbines erected at sea.