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Top 25 global wind asset owners lost market share in 2015, says MAKE Consulting

MAKE Consulting has reported that the leading wind power asset owners globally lost market share in 2015 despite adding capacity overall, amidst a general trend of fragmentation in the global market.

The company reports that the top 25 global asset owners controlled 170GW of grid-connected wind capacity at the end of 2015, representing 41% of the world’s cumulative wind capacity. However, this is a decline from a 47% share in 2012 and 42% in 2014.

Smaller owners continue to acquire existing assets and capture an increasing share of new growth, especially in the EMEA and APAC regions. Europe’s biggest owners continue to face a challenging market environment, with some firms divesting from Southern Europe to invest in more attractive markets for growth, including AMER and both onshore and offshore wind in Northern Europe.

In China, the top 15 asset owners in the market set a new record in 2015 with an average capacity addition of more than 1GW. This growth enabled 8 owners in China to rise in the global top 25 ranking, and now 7 of the top 10 global asset owners are based in China. 

The average CAGR in cumulative wind capacity of the China-based owners in the global top 25 was 29% from 2012 to 2015, compared to 21% for owners based in AMER and 3% in EMEA. Despite this blistering growth by owners in APAC, the global top 25 owners’ share of wind capacity in APAC declined from 63% in 2013 to 55% in 2015. This indicates fragmentation in APAC, as owners outside of the top rankings gain share both in China and elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region, particularly in India. 

However, in AMER and particularly in the US, there is the opposite trend of consolidation of share by the largest asset owners. The group of owners in the global top 25 has gradually increased its share of wind assets, representing 51% of the AMER region’s 100GW of installed wind capacity at the end of 2015.

Consolidation in the US market has been driven by a volatile policy environment and the rapid rise of yieldcos, favouring the largest asset owners and primarily IPPs. However, both of these trends changed by the end of 2015. Rising interest rates and cost of equity have slowed the growth of yieldcos since the second half of 2015, helping financial owners to claim the second largest market share in the AMER region behind IPPs. With greater long-term policy certainty, utilities are expected to gain share in the US market over the next 5 years.

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