Renewables MMI®: Wind, Solar Set Sales Records in 2014 Thanks to Chinese Purchases

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Production of wind turbines and solar panels soared in 2014, according to FTI Consulting, a global business advisory group. Increased demand from China fueled a turnaround for renewable energy manufacturers that had struggled with overcapacity and a sharp slowdown in demand from developed countries in recent years.

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Denmark’s Vestas cemented its position as the world’s leading wind turbine maker, while Trina Solar of China displaced Yingli Green Energy, also of China, as top panel maker.

Solar and wind producers benefited from China’s drive to increase renewable energy’s share of its power mix to 15% by 2020, in an effort to cut smog and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Vestas outstripped its rivals for the second year running in the amount of turbine generating capacity it sold in 2014.

Germany’s Siemens was the second-biggest turbine maker last year, followed by China’s Goldwind and General Electric.

The top three solar panel producers are now all Chinese, with JinkoSolar displacing Sharp Corp. of Japan for the third spot. Canadian Solar is fourth, and Sharp is now fifth.

The biggest mover this week was Korean steel plate with a 1.8% fall on the weekly Renewables MMI® to close the week at KRW 540,000 ($485.66) per metric ton. Following a steady week, prices for US steel plate closed flat at $709.00 per short ton. At JPY 80,000 ($672.75) per metric ton, the price of Japanese steel plate did not change since the previous week.

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Chinese renewables prices were flat for the week. Chinese cobalt cathodes remained essentially flat from the previous week at CNY 224,000 ($35,796) per metric ton. Silicon traded sideways last week, hovering around CNY 15,000 ($2,397) per metric ton. Closing at CNY 395,000 ($63,122) per metric ton, neodymium remained unchanged for the week. Prices for Chinese steel plate remained constant, closing the week at CNY 2,660 ($425.07) per metric ton.

US grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around $2,670 per metric ton.

The Renewables MMI® collects and weights 8 metal price points used extensively within the renewable energy industry to provide a unique view into renewable energy metal price trends. For more information on the Renewables MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

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