Renewable energy is the fastest growing form of electricity generation in the world now, outpacing coal, nuclear and gas. Looking at the family of renewable energy technologies that are commercially available, wind is the fastest growing renewable energy power source. By the end of 2015 total wind power installed was a whopping 486.8 GW and shows no sign of slowing down. Wind energy is cost competitive and consistently comes in at or below the going market rate for electricity. Onshore wind farms are the most popular but offshore wind farms are growing in popularity although they are costlier to implement. Onshore wind farms do give a higher power output due to stronger and more consistent winds out at sea. Wind power gives variable power which is very consistent from year to year but has a significant variation over shorter timescale. They must be used in conjunction with other power sources though to give reliable power. Let’s look at the top 10 global wind turbine manufacturers.
Nordex is a German wind turbine manufacturing company that has been around since 1985, they have installed 21 GW of wind power installed globally and have a 3.4% market share of the wind power market.
Since 1985, they have installed 7 109 power systems. Their wind turbines are aimed at the utility market with wind turbine sizes starting from 1.5 MW all the way up to their 4th generation wind turbine technology, that produces the highest yield in terms of power output.
The N149/4.0-4.5 wind turbine can generate up to 4.5 MW of power. The rotor diameter on this wind turbine is 149m and the tower has a maximum height of 164m!
Ming Yang is the largest wind turbine manufacturing company in China, it’s a major player in the global wind turbine manufacturing industry.
The company is a relatively new player in the wind turbine industry, founded in 2006.
The company focuses on designing, manufacturing, selling and servicing megawatt-class wind turbines.
China is a major market for wind farms, with total installed capacity in 2015 representing 50% of total wind power installed globally. China has 30.5 GW’s installed of wind power as of 2015. Ming Yang is currently focusing on developing wind turbines for the offshore wind farm market and are said to be developing a 12 MW wind turbine!
United Power is another Chinese based company, although state owned. They have been a world leader in wind turbine technology for a number of years now.
They have installed more than 3 000 wind turbines across China. They manufacture wind turbines with a rated capacity from 1.5MW for normal, high altitude, tideland & coastal, low temperature conditions, and independently developed double-fed offshore wind turbines with rated capacity of 3MW.
Using proprietary technology they have a developed a 6 MW wind turbine. Designed for frigid offshore locations, it can operate in temperatures as cold as -40 degrees Celsius.
Gamesa is a Spanish based wind turbine manufacturing company, with total installed wind power capacity of 30 000 MW globally The merger between Gamesa and Siemens concluded in April 2017.
It’s main target markets are Spain and China. Not only do they manufacture wind turbines but provide turn key solutions for wind farms from the development cycle to implementation and operations.
They manufacture wind turbines ranging in size from 2 MW to 5 MW. They also have a unique upgrade solution for their older wind turbine models, increasing its capacity output by 5%. Merely by upgrading its software and firmware.
General Electric is a household brand name, they started developing and manufacturing wind turbine technology in 2002.
They specialise in both offshore and onshore wind turbine technology, with wind turbine capacity sizes ranging from 1.7 MW to 6 MW.
GE have always been considered as innovators in the wind turbine technology field.
Their latest innovation takes advantage of the digitally connected world we live in. Known as the “Digital Wind Farm” a dynamic, connected and adaptable wind energy ecosystem, the Digital Wind Farm connects the newest turbines with a digital backbone infrastructure, allowing wind farm operators to connect, monitor, predict and optimize unit and site performance.
Suzlon has 6.3% of the global wind turbine market and has a presence in 18 countries on 6 continents.
Formed in 1995, they have installed 17 GW of wind energy capacity globally.
They also have one of the largest R&D divisions amongst all the wind turbine manufacturers, with facilities in India, Germany, The Netherlands and Denmark.
They also specialize in solar power and offer end to end solutions for both renewable energy technologies. Most notable is its wide range of wind turbine capacities ranging from 600 Kw all the way up to 6.15 MW’s.
Siemens is one of the most recognizable wind turbine manufacturing companies in the market.
They manufacture wind turbine technologies for both onshore and offshore wind farms and have 8% of the global wind turbine market.
Siemens has 30 years’ experience in developing and manufacturing onshore wind turbines and 25 years’ experience in offshore wind turbine technology.
They have installed 21 GW of wind power globally, totalling 8 900 wind turbines! Their next generation onshore wind turbines named OptimaFlex, allows wind farm owners and operators allows to select exactly the right turbine setup for your needs, taking into account such things as the topography and climate of the surrounding environment. Their wind turbine range of capacities range from 2 MW all the way up to 8 MW.
Enercon is yet another German wind turbine manufacturing company founded in 1984, they have installed a whopping 26 360 wind turbines to date totalling global capacity of 43.1 GW!
Their state of the art innovation facility employees over 700 engineers! Their wind turbine range ranges in size from 1 MW to 4 MW capacity.
A unique feature of their wind turbines is that they are gearless, enhancing performance and reducing maintenance. The wind turbines are also designed for harsh environmental conditions and are able to withstand the strongest storms and coldest temperatures taking advantage of unique technology.
Goldwind is a Chinese based wind turbine manufacturing company with a presence in 6 continents.
They have installed wind power capacity of 19 GW globally and have 10.3% of the total global wind turbine market.
They also use a unique gearless drive system in their wind turbine using permanent magnet technology that improves efficiency and reduces maintenance costs.
However, their product range only consists of two capacity sizes, namely a 1.5 MW and 2 MW wind turbine. Goldwind is to commence development soon of the largest wind farm in Australia totally 530 MW with 149 wind turbines!
Vestas is definitely the top dog in the wind turbine industry, situated in Denmark. They have a total installed capacity of 87 GW out of total wind power capacity of 486 GW globally.
Representing 13.2% of the global wind turbine market. They have also been around for a very long time, founded in 1898 to be exact! Their wind turbine product capacity ranges from 2 MW to 4.2 MW.
Their wind turbines are for onshore and offshore wind farms and offer a full turnkey solution from design to development, construction, and operations.