Last week, we published our North American Power List, which includes a top 100 list of the most influential people in the wind industry in North America.
One of the most interesting aspects for us is looking at the trends that shaped the report. This time, we identified six big issues that determined the top 100.
1) Utilities and developers take the lead
Utilities and developers are the best-represented groups in the top 100, with 23 and 22 entrants respectively.
This is to be expected given that these are the firms that are developing the large onshore and offshore wind projects that drive the activity. They will also be at the sharp end of the wind-down of the production tax credit.
The other big groups are investors, corporates and manufacturers.
2) M&A removes some famous names
A wave of acquisitions has removed some of the best-known developers that features in the last North American Power List in mid-2018.
Of these deals, the decision by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to buy Pattern Energy in a $6.1bn had a huge impact on the top five.
3) Offshore wind makes a splash
The US offshore wind industry has arrived, and the top 100 features people from 11 utilities and developers that are working on large offshore wind farms. These include Avangrid, Copenhagen Offshore Partners, Equinor and Orsted. That's not to mention huge interest from turbine makers and investors.
But not all US players are buying in. NextEra, Pattern Energy and Enel Green Power are among utilities active in the US who see offshore wind as too risky. In total, 72 of the top 100 focus exclusively on onshore wind.
4) Greater diversity of corporates
Renewable energy power purchase agreements have historically been the domain of large technology companies.
However, this top 100 includes 12 people from a wide range of corporates, including American Honda, AT&T, Inbev and Nike. We expect this diversity to continue to grow in the coming years as more firms target net zero.
5) Still a long way to go on gender
Twenty-seven of our final top 100 are women, including 18 who are on the list for the first time.
This tells us that the industry is making progress in developing women in top roles, but that there's still work to be done if companies want to ensure they are attracting and retaining a broad range of talented people.
We expect more companies to follow the commitment by Vestas this week and set targets for gender diversity on their management teams.
6) A vibrant and fast-changing market
In total, 49 of this top 100 are new entrants who didn't feature on the previous NAPL report in mid-2018.
To us, this is simply a reminder that the US is one of the world's most vibrant and fast-changing wind markets, although we can't discount the impact that this year's presidential election might have on the sector's fortunes.
NEWS IN BRIEF
TOTAL QUADRAN SELLS 50% OF 143MW PORTFOLIO
Banque des Territoires has agreed to acquire a 50% stake in Total Quadran's 143MW wind and solar portfolio. The portfolio is split between 11 wind farms with total capacity of 96MW and 35 solar farms totalling 47MW. Read more
WEC BUYS 80% OF 250MW ILLINOIS PROJECT
WEC Energy Group has agreed to buy an 80% stake in the 250MW Blooming Grove wind project in Illinois from Invenergy. Read more
FORESIGHT SECURES €342M FOR RENEWABLES FUND
Foresight Group has secured total commitments of €342m for its Foresight Energy Infrastructure Partners fund, which is set to invest in projects including wind, solar and hydro. Read more
ADANI ARM WINS 700MW WIND-SOLAR BACKING
Adani Green Energy subsidiary Rosepetal Solar has been awarded the right to develop 700MW of wind and solar hybrid projects. Read more
STATKRAFT SECURES DAIMLER RENEWABLES DEAL
Statkraft and Enovos have signed a deal with carmaker Daimler to meet its electricity needs in Germany with solar, wind and hydro. Read more
ISRAELI INSURERS INVEST €128M IN SPANISH SCHEME
Israeli insurers Menora Mivtachim Holdings and Phoenix Holdings are set to jointly invest €128m for a combined 38% of a 300MW Enlight Renewable Energy wind project in Gecama and Spain. Read more
RWE SWITCHES ON 57MW ITALIAN PROJECT
RWE Renewables has commissioned the 57MW Morcone onshore wind farm in Italy, which is made up of 19 turbines. Read more
TRIO TEAM UP ON OFFSHORE DRONE DELIVERIES
Siemens Gamesa, Ørsted and Esvagt are working on a project to use drones to deliver spare parts and tools from vessels to offshore turbines. Read more