Wind energy is one of the fastest-growing clean sources of electricity in the world. Since wind is one of the most abundantly available and cost-effective energy resources, it has emerged as viable alternative to the fossil fuels.
Furthermore, unlike fossil fuels which are non-renewable and cause pollution, wind farms do not emit any pollutants into the environment during their operation. As wind power generation cost is falling and there is growing clamor to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, development of wind plants are on the upswing.
In its ‘Global Wind Report: Annual Market Update’, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) has revealed that the global wind energy market’s cumulative installed capacity has reached 486.8 gigawatts (GW) at the end of 2016. China continues to lead global wind energy market with 168.7 GW of cumulative capacity and 34.7% market share. The US, Germany, India and Spain are the other major markets with 82.2 GW, 50 GW, 28.7 GW and 23.1 GW of cumulative capacity, respectively. In 2016 alone, more than 54 GW of wind power was installed across the globe. GWEC’s five year global wind energy industry market forecast sees cumulative capacity growth rate of 10.4% from 546 GW in 2017 to reach of total of 817 GW by the end of 2021.
Leveraging its unique bottom-up project database and selected market sources, industry research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) has compiled a list of top onshore as well as offshore wind turbine manufacturers in the world for 2016. According to the list, compared to the 39.7 GW new wind energy capacity added by top 10 onshore firms, only 832 MW of new wind capacity was commissioned by top 10 offshore firms in 2016. BNEF has showed Gamesa and Siemens Wind Power as separate companies as their merger was not yet finalized as of February 2017.
Here are the top onshore wind turbine companies in the world.
Vestas Wind Systems
Danish turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems is the top onshore wind turbine company with 8.7 GW installations in 2016. The company’s wind turbine order intake increased from 8.95 GW in 2015 to 10.5 GW in 2016 from 33 countries and the value of the service order backlog increased by EUR1.8bn to EUR10.7bn, according to the company’s annual report. Vestas has signed the largest single project in the history of the company with the 1 GW Fosen/ Hitra project in Norway. Till date, Vestas has installed 59,909 turbines, which has a total joint capacity of 82 GW, across 76 countries. It has manufacturing facilities in North and Latin America, Europe and Asia.
Image: Till date, Vestas has installed 59,909 turbines. Photo: Courtesy of dan/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
GE Wind Energy, a branch of General Electric subsidiary – GE Energy stands second with 6.5 GW of onshore wind turbine installations last year. The company secured more than 7 GW onshore wind orders across 19 countries around the world, including orders in Japan, India and Germany, in 2016. The company’s onshore wind installed base now stands at nearly 57 GW of global capacity.
Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology
Chinese wind turbine maker Goldwind is at third place with 6.4 GW of onshore wind turbine installations across the globe. All of the company’s capacity was virtually built in its home market, where it continued to solidify its leading position and expand its market share. It was able to increase its domestic newly installation market share by 1.9% to 27.1%. Goldwind won nearly 9 GW of new orders in China last year, representing over 30% of market share.
Spain’s Gamesa occupies fourth spot with 3.7 GW of onshore wind turbine installations across the world. The company has managed to significantly increase installations compared to the previous year, with almost one out of every three turbines installed in India. It concluded 2016 with 4.7 GW new orders. However, in April 2017 the company merged with Siemens Wind Power to create a global leader in the wind power industry, with a presence in more than 90 countries and an installed base of 75 GW.
Enercon is at fifth place with 3.5 GW of onshore wind turbine installations. The German firm was able to increase installations in 2016 compared to 2015. However, one in every two turbines was installed in its domestic market, accounting for 39.9% of total German wind power market in 2016. Since its foundation in 1984, the company has installed more than 26,500 onshore wind energy converters worldwide, corresponding to an installed global power of over 43.5 GW.
Image: ENERCON successfully commissioned its first E-141 EP4. Photo courtesy of ENERCON GmbH.
The Nordex Group
The Nordex Group, which has merged with the Spanish subsidiary Acciona Windpower in April 2016, is ranked sixth, according to BNEF. It has installed 2.6 GW of new wind power capacity and generated revenues of EUR3.4bn last year. So far, Nordex Group has installed more than 21 GW of wind energy capacity in over 25 markets. The company, which currently employs approximately a workforce of 5,000, operates factories in Germany, Spain, Brazil, the US and India.
Guodian United Power Technology
Chinese state-owned Guodian United Power has emerged as the seventh largest onshore wind turbine maker with 2.2 GW installations in 2016. The Beijing-based company owns five subsidiaries, three holding companies and six wind turbine manufacturing and R&D bases in six cities across China.
Germany-based Siemens Wind Power is placed at eighth position, just behind Guodian, with 2.1 GW of onshore wind turbine installations. In April 2017, Siemens concluded the merger of its wind power business with Gamesa. The two businesses are highly complementary with respect to global footprint, existing product portfolios and technologies. Siemens holds 59% stake while existing Gamesa shareholders hold 41% stake in the merged entity, whose global headquarters and onshore offices are based at Spain, while offshore offices are located in Hamburg (Germany) and Vejle (Denmark).
Image: With its 69 meter blades the SWT-3.15-142 has a rotor diameter of 142 meters. Photo: courtesy of Siemens AG.
China Ming Yang Wind Power Group
Hong Kong-based China Ming Yang Wind Power Group is narrowly ahead of its compatriot Envision Energy at ninth position with 1.96 GW of onshore wind turbine installations in 2016. The company has merged with Regal Ally Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Regal Concord, pursuant to which it ceased to be a publicly-traded company and became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the parent company in June last year.
Shanghai-based Envision Energy finds itself in the tenth spot with 1.94 GW of onshore wind turbine installations last year. The company has more than 7.5 GW of smart wind turbines in operation. Envision has regional offices across Asia, Europe, North and Latin America and has established global R&D and engineering centers in Denmark, Germany and the US.