Global wind turbine orders rose 12% in H1 2023 as demand surged

Orders hit an estimated $40.5 billion in the first half of this year, energy consultancy says

The Hywind Tampen floating offshore wind farm in the North Sea. The offshore wind industry delivered its "second-best" year for new capacity in 2022. Reuters
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Global wind turbine order intake rose by 12 per cent in the first half of 2023, driven by strong demand from outside China and North America, Wood Mackenzie has said.

Total order intake during the period reached a record 69.5 gigawatts, with orders from outside China surging 47 per cent from the same period a year earlier, the energy consultancy said in a report on Thursday.

North America orders jumped by more than four times to 7.7 gigawatts, with two offshore orders accounting for nearly half of the total.

China, the biggest spender on renewable energy in the world, recorded 44 gigawatts of orders in the first half of this year, but demand was flat year-over-year, the report said.

In total, global orders hit an estimated $40.5 billion in the first half and $25.3 billion in the second quarter, Wood Mackenzie said.

“We’ve seen strong demand outside of China this year, which is really encouraging,” said Luke Lewandowski, vice president, global renewables research at Wood Mackenzie.

“Supply chain challenges remain, but conditions have improved enough to spark procurement decisions.

"Momentum from the Inflation Reduction Act [IRA] in the US has helped to motivate order activity, although increasing clarity and market certainty will drive an even larger volume."

The IRA, enacted last year, offers a series of tax incentives on renewables including wind, solar and hydropower, as well as a push towards electric vehicle ownership.

It is expected to spur about $3 trillion of investment in renewable energy technology, Goldman Sachs said.

Wood Mackenzie said offshore order intake rose 26 per cent to a record 12 gigawatts in the first half of the year. In the second quarter, it jumped 48 per cent to 9.1 gigawatts.

“Momentum had been building for some time in the offshore market and many deals had been conditional as project developers awaited approvals and permitting,” Mr Lewandowski said.

The offshore wind industry worldwide delivered its "second-best" year for new capacity in 2022 as 8.8 gigawatts of new clean energy was connected to the grid around the world, according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

About 380 gigawatts of new offshore wind will be built by 2032 – nearly half of which will come from the Asia-Pacific region, the council said in a report this week.

However, the council lowered its near-term forecast for Europe and North America due to delays caused by permitting and other regulatory issues and said that supply chain bottlenecks were a risk for every region except China.

The European wind sector, particularly turbine manufacturers, is facing growing challenges from slow permit approvals, rising costs of raw materials and transportation, and competition from China.

Meanwhile, investment in clean energy is set to reach $1.7 trillion this year, outpacing spending on fossil fuels, as countries look to address potential energy shortages, the International Energy Agency said.

Global energy investments in 2023 are projected to reach $2.8 trillion, with more than 60 per cent allocated for clean technologies, including renewables, electric vehicles, nuclear power and heat pumps, the Paris-based agency said in its World Energy Investment report in April.

The remaining 40 per cent will be spent on coal, natural gas and crude oil, the report said.

Updated: September 02, 2023, 4:09 AM