Chinese Manufactucturers Flex Muscle In Wind Energy Too With 60% Market Share

Chinese Manufactucturers Flex Muscle In Wind Energy Too With 60% Market Share

While the world has been familiar with Chinese dominance of the solar sector, it is the wind energy sector where Chinese manufacturers have been making even faster strides. Onshore wind energy is dominated by Chinese firms today, even as Offshore wind, the last ‘frontier’ for western dominance, continues to crumble in the face of the Chinese onslaught.  A report from Global Wind Energy Council confirms Chinese gains, even as erstwhile European champions are bogged down by quality issues that have impacted warranty costs .

The Brussels-based Global Wind Energy Council says that China’s Goldwind, the leader in the domestic market, ranked second in the world market with a 13% share, behind Denmark’s Vestas with 14%.

Of the top 15 companies worldwide, 10 were Chinese, including fifth-place Envision with a 9% share and sixth-place Mingyang Smart Energy with 7%. In total, China accounts for 56% of installed capacity, more than any other country. Its share has soared from the 37% it held in 2018, thanks largely to a strong surge in capacity additions since 2021. An all time high 87 GW of wind capacity was added in 2022, even as solar capacity additions was a stunning 125 GW.

Spanish wind energy firm Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy ranked third with 10%, ceding market share from the 12% it held in 2018. European companies’ overall share fell from 55% in 2018 to 42% in 2022, having been overtaken by China in 2020.

Much like solar, the wind energy surge in China has generous backing from the government, be it in the form of incentives, viability funding, or the massive domestic demand that has supported investment flows into the sector. Interestingly, foreign firms have made very little headway in the domestic Chinese market since 2020.

A 2019 government notice urged energy suppliers to connect their facilities to the grid network by the end of 2021 to take advantage of a generous purchase price offered under the government’s feed-in tariff program, ensuring a strong rush to complete projects.

Even offshore wind, an area where China entered late  due to cost and technology challenges, has reached a world leading 31 gigawatts in 2022, surpassing Europe again. Newly installed capacity in China in 2022 for offshore wind is about 5 gigawatts, more than double that of Europe, and equal to the target India has set for 2030.

backed by a strong domestic base, Chinese manufacturers have leveraged the familiar playbook of huge scale and cost competitiveness to expand overseas now. Firms like Mingyang Smart Energy have entered offshore markets in Italy in 2022 and in Japan’s Toyama prefecture.
The strong Chinese surge is bound to draw counter measures in the US, Europe and even India, who see the dependence on China as a threat to their energy security. It remains to be seen how that plays out, as wind energy remains a more capital intensive, challenging sector, unlike say solar module manufacturing, where massive capacities are being created across top consumption markets like Inda, the US and Europe.

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