The world’s appetite for green energy is greater than ever, but that isn’t translating into big profits for some of the companies behind the boom.
Top wind-turbine makers are struggling with lower earnings as rising raw- material costs, problems shipping the hulking machines, and uncertainty over the future of U.S. subsidies pressure their businesses.
Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA and Vestas Wind Systems A/S, two of the largest global manufacturers, reduced profit forecasts for the remainder of the year. General Electric Co. GE +0.65% , another leading turbine manufacturer, reported year-over-year growth in turbine sales but hasn’t turned a profit in that segment this year.
Globally, wind production has been growing as the renewable energy source becomes more economically competitive with fossil fuel sources of electricity such as coal and natural gas and as countries begin taking steps to address the causes of climate change.
Demand for turbines this decade is expected to be roughly double demand in the previous 10 years, according to estimates from the consulting and data firm Wood Mackenzie. But companies face an array of challenges in manufacturing and moving the increasingly large turbines, whose blades alone span more than 100 feet apiece.
[Jennifer Hiller and Katherine Blunt]