*See note below.
The wind turbine shortage is growing, General Electric has confirmed.
The industrial conglomerate said in its conference call with analysts last Friday that the backlog of wind turbines--i.e. orders that have booked but can't ship--has grown to $12 billion. That's up from $11 billion in the fourth quarter and more than twice the size of the backlog in the first quarter a year ago.
Earlier this month, wind park developers and analysts said that a shortage of wind turbines has forced power providers to push projects into the future and juggle supplier agreements. Some have even speculated that the billion-plus acquisition of Airtricity earlier this year was prompted in part because the company had priority from certain manufacturers when it came to new turbines. We called GE several times in early April about the shortage, but they didn't return requests for comments.
GE sold $1.8 billion in turbines during the quarter. Orders were up 40 percent. In all, 569 turbines shipped....MORE
Note: I read the transcript on Sunday and didn't recall any GE confirmation of anything of the sort. I just did a keyword search of the transcript using both 'wind' and 'turbine', nada. If cnet gets a call from GE, I'll post. In the meantime the "confirms" in the headline may just be an unfortunate word choice. It looks to me like GE is simply building backlog.
Here's the transcript, you decide.