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Two research firms have released different takes on the wind turbine original equipment manufacturer (OEM) market, with MAKE Consulting placing Vestas at No. 1 in 2012 and Navigant Research assigning the top spot to GE.

According to MAKE Consulting, the top 10 turbine suppliers of 2012 were as follows:


1. Vestas

2. GE

3. Siemens

4. Gamesa

5. Enercon

6. Suzlon Group

7. Goldwind

8. United Power

9. Sinovel

10. Mingyang

MAKE Consulting says the No. 1 spot “went down to the wire,” but Vestas ultimately pulled ahead of GE by a narrow 0.9% margin: Vestas held 14.6% of the global market, and GE held 13.7%. If all of GE’s 2012 Brazil-based projects had been grid-connected, however, the firm says the OEM would have beat out Vestas.

Navigant Research’s top 10 list, meanwhile, includes the same big-name companies but gives the lead to GE, with GE holding 15.5% of the global market and Vestas holding 14%. (Other deviations from MAKE’s list include ranking Enercon, Suzlon and Gamesa fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.)

Navigant says GE’s progress can be attributed to a rush to take advantage of the U.S.’ production tax credit, and MAKE adds that GE's strong growth in emerging EMEA markets was also essential.

Regardless, both research firms seem to agree that Vestas still reigns as one of the largest OEMs and that 2012 was a huge year for GE.

Both reports also say that Chinese market leaders Goldwind and Sinovel slid down the rankings in 2012. According to Navigant, Sinovel “continues to drop in the rankings, narrowly maintaining its position in the top 10.” Perhaps most notable, though, is that Goldwind dropped on both lists from second place in 2011 to seventh place last year.

In part, MAKE says the declines are due to a 26% decrease in Chinese installations, while Navigant says “transmission bottlenecks and manufacturing overcapacity” in the Chinese OEMs’ home markets are to blame.

Both reports use the word “strong” when describing Siemens’ 2012 growth, landing the OEM its third-place ranking. Navigant says Siemens did well in both the U.S. and offshore markets. Regarding Gamesa’s ranking, MAKE notes that the OEM’s performance in the Americas and the Asia-Pacific region compensated for a lower installation volume in the EMEA market.

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