Danish Wind Power Industry Maintains High Export Figures In 2009

The wind turbines industry exports account for 8.5 per cent of total Danish exports in 2009 compared to 7.2 per cent in 2008. “We have maintained the high export figures from the record breaking 2008. Today, the Danish export of wind power technology accounts for 8.5 per cent of the total Danish exports as compared to 7.2 per cent in 2008.

The industry has felt the financial crisis because the markets were depressed resulting in lower employment rates,” says Jan Hylleberg, CEO of The Danish Wind Industry Association and continues:

“Looking ahead the industry expects employment rates to increase by 8 per cent in 2010 to a total of approximately 26.700 employees. Thereby half of the workplaces lost in 2009 will be recreated, and it is most gratifying that the companies expect to reemploy as many people.”

The wind energy industry expects the Danish nearby markets to grow from 35 GW at present to a minimum of 117 GW by 2020 equivalent to a growth by more than 10 per cent a year.

“The Danish companies are well prepared to turn the great potential on the nearby markets in to good account. The potential in northern Europe both onshore as offshore is great and commercially unexploited. If we come to a decision in Denmark as to the national 2020 extension plan, the technology development taking place among Danish companies will be strengthened.

Denmark has always been a front runner regarding next generation turbines, components, and grid. A decision to develop the energy system enabling us to integrate 50 per cent wind power by 2020 will drive the technology development forward,” says Jan Hylleberg.

Today, wind power accounts for approximately 20 per cent of the Danish electricity supply. The Danish Wind Industry Association has shown how 50 per cent of the electricity can be supplied by wind power by 2020.

“A national target to realize 50 per cent wind power by 2020 will, apart from a certain market potential, pave the way for technology development among the Danish companies.

The technology development will take place among manufacturers, suppliers, and utility companies and also provide an interesting possibility to exhibit Danish competencies to the benefit of the Danish industry, exports, and employment,” concludes Jan Hylleberg.

With exports of DKK 41.7bn in 2009 the Danish wind industry maintained the high level of exports achieved in 2008. At the same time, the industry recorded a decline in revenue in Denmark of DKK 1.9bn, corresponding to 3.6%, from 2008 to 2009.

Today, the exports of the wind energy industry account for 8.5% of total Danish exports, up from 7.2% in 2008. When the financial crisis hit the wind energy industry in 2009, it resulted in reduced employment figures in Denmark, so that the number of employees in the wind energy industry was 24,700 at the end of 2009.

This decline was expected, and the Danish Wind Industry Association consequently reduced its forecasts twice in the course of 2009, most recently to approx. 24,000. Hence, the result is slightly above expectations, but still much lower than in 2008.

Globalisation has increasingly made an impact on the Danish wind industry. Today, this is reflected by the fact that Danish manufacturers have set up production in a large number of countries around the world – especially in China and the US, where the industry’s market prospects look very promising. The same applies to an increasing share of the component suppliers.

The component suppliers in Denmark increasingly export products to foreign wind turbine manufacturers. We expect this development to continue in the years ahead.

In 2010, some 50% of the companies expect to recruit more employees, whereas some 40% expect to have the same number of employees at the end of 2010. On the aggregate, the industry expects the number of employees to increase by some 2,000 to a total of 26,700, making up for half the jobs lost in 2009. This translates into growth of approximately 8%.

The wind industry located in Denmark generated turnover of approximately DKK 51.1bn in 2009. Compared to 2008, when revenue amounted to DKK 53.0bn, this is a drop of DKK 1.9bn or 3.6%. By way of comparison, turnover rose 25.6% from 2007 to 2008.

During the period from 1999 to 2009, turnover grew by a compound annual growth rate of some 15% despite two years (2003 and 2009) of lower year-on-year revenue. The drop in turnover from 2008 to 2009 is primarily due to the financial crisis and the declining European market.

Worldwide, turnover generated by the Danish wind industry amounted to DKK 91.4bn in 2009 compared with DKK 83.8bn in 2008. Globally, the turnover increase was thus DKK 7.6bn, corresponding to an increase of 9.1%.

The growth in the wind industry’s global sales indicates that the industry has continued its globalisation during the financial crisis and cashed in on its investments in production facilities abroad. Consequently, the foreign production facilities are increasingly taking over the supply of the markets in primarily Asia and North America.

The Danish wind industry’s total exports of wind turbines, components and services amounted to DKK 41.7bn in 2009. The corresponding figure for 2008 was DKK 42bn, which reflects a drop in exports of DKK 0.3bn, or a mere 0.7%.

The Danish manufacturers and suppliers in the wind industry have thus maintained the high level of exports achieved in the record year 2008.

As total Danish exports in 2009 amounted to DKK 492bn (Statistics Denmark), the wind energy industry accounted for 8.5% of total exports in 2009. At the same time, the wind industry accounts for more than 70% of the total Danish exports of energy technology.

The total number of employees in the entire wind industry was about 24,700 persons at the end of 2009. In 2008, the corresponding figure was 28,400 persons, reflecting a drop in employment of 13%. This drop was recorded for both manufacturers and suppliers.

Moreover, primarily production jobs were affected by the cutbacks. In January 2010, the industry downgraded the number of employees to about 24,000.

The reason was that a number of companies laid off staff as a consequence of the financial crisis, which caused the market development to slow down. The 24,700 employees are consequently slightly above the figure forecast by the Danish Wind Industry Association earlier this year.

The wind industry expects growth of almost 5% growth in national sales for 2010. These moderate growth expectations are especially due to the fact that the order intake of Danish as well as global manufacturers was low in 2009, which will result in fewer turbines to be delivered in 2010.

The fact that the manufacturers also reduced their own component inventories in 2009 contributed to the particularly difficult year with few new orders for suppliers of components in 2009. With the global market warming up slowly again, many of the component suppliers expect an increase in sales concurrently with the production of new orders.

The wind energy industry generally used 2009 to prepare for the new market conditions and the more intense competition. This is reflected by the industry’s 14% increase in export share per employee from 2008 to 2009.

In other words, there are a number of indications that the wind energy industry in Denmark will experience moderate growth in 2010, with especially the component suppliers seeing increased demand for their products, whereas turbine manufactures should generally expect slightly weaker growth than in previous years.

The budding optimism is also reflected by the wind industry’s expectations to recruit 2,000 new employees in the course of 2010, corresponding to approximately half the number of employees laid off in 2009 and a growth rate of approximately 8%.