The European wind turbine manufacturing industry has “little meat left on its bones” and is heading for a “critical” 12 months in 2013, according to international financier Rabobank.

In its latest quarterly renewables report, the Dutch bank said that 2012 would be “a defining year in the survival” of major players in the market, such as Vestas and Gamesa.

Rabobank states that Chinese turbine makers will make more of an impact in the European market and even predicts that the market domination of Chinese solar panel manufacturing will be repeated in the wind sector.

“The outlook is likely to deteriorate and see European wind turbine manufacturers be swept aside in the same way as European solar PV manufacturers,” said the bank.

It added: The price differential between a European and Chinese wind turbine is 30-to-40 per cent, which is larger than the quality differential, in our view. We therefore expect Chinese competition to intensify in the market.

“European wind turbine manufacturers are looking at a tough few years to come.”