A total of 96.3GW worth of new wind capacity was commissioned in 2020, an increase of 59% over 2019, led by a truly formidable year in China which saw 57.8GW worth of new capacity commissioned.
“While every region commissioned more wind capacity than the year prior, the unprecedented growth observed in 2020 should be credited to the Chinese wind market,” said Isabelle Edwards, wind associate at BloombergNEF and lead author of the 2020 Global Wind Turbine Market Shares report.
“Nearly every turbine maker is now selling turbines into China, and in 2020 it was the second-largest market for both GE and Vestas.”
Just four wind turbine manufacturers accounted for 51% of all wind turbines deployed in 2020 – General Electric (GE), Goldwind, Vestas, and Envision, all of which commissioned over 10GW in 2020.
Figure 1: Top 10 global wind turbine makers, 2020
Normally at the top of the rankings, Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas fell to third spot in the 2020 rankings of wind turbine manufacturers, as GE and Goldwind benefited from a surge in installations in China and the United States.
“GE and Goldwind claimed the top two spots in this year’s ranking by concentrating on the largest markets,” said Edwards. “This strategy may not be as fruitful in 2021 as subsidies lapse in those areas.
“Vestas takes on less market risk, with turbines commissioned in 34 countries last year.”
GE led the way with 13.5GW worth of wind turbine capacity installed in 2020, all of which was onshore, and which saw the United States account for 70% of the company’s total.
The US installed a record 16.5GW of new wind capacity in 2020, driven in large part by preparation for the phase-out of the wind production tax credit which has supported the growth of the industry for several years now.
Figure 2: Top 10 global onshore wind turbine makers, 2020
While onshore wind accounted for 94% of all wind turbines commissioned in what was a record-busting 2020, the only downside was the drop in new offshore wind capacity, which fell 19%.
Siemens Gamesa remained the world’s leading offshore wind turbine supplier, commissioning 1.91GW worth of offshore wind capacity thanks to the 752MW at the Borssele wind farm in the Netherlands, and a further 539MW at the East Anglia One project in the UK, among other sites.