In this article we are going to list the 10 largest wind energy companies in the world. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 5 largest wind energy companies in the world. Ever since primary school two decades ago, I remember being bombarded about climate change and global warming, and the impact it would have on the world. And at that time, many people refused to take is seriously as it seemed to be an abstract concept; something whose effect could not be felt. However, now we can see the effects of climate change; erratic pattern weathers, hottest year on record after hottest year on record, extreme temperatures in both winters and summers and increased frequency of major storms, and people are suddenly starting to wake up.
For centuries, we have used fossil fuels as our primary source of power, where power is generated by burning of fossil fuels which include natural gas, oil and coal. While this has allowed us to create power and sustain our industries which in turn led to the Industrial Revolution and the creation of the modern industry, burning fossil fuels releases harmful greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which have been primarily responsible for the current climate change. Add the fact that fossil fuels are limited in supply and you can see why we have a problem. This is where renewable energy comes into play.
Renewable energy refers to energy which is collected from sources which are replenished naturally within a human timescale and are generally carbon neutral in nature. Examples of renewable energy are water, wind, geothermal and sunlight. In this article, as the title suggests, we are focusing on wind energy. Using wind energy to produce electricity leads to sustainable development, and does not emit any toxicants or contaminants into the air, and also, does not waste or contaminate water, which is extremely important considering the global water shortage and the scarcity of water in our world.
The wind industry has been booming for a while now, and 2019 was actually the biggest year in the history of this relatively new industry. In 2019, installations of 60.4 GWH took place globally, while the biggest year ever for the industry was in 2015, when installations of 63.8 GWH took place globally. Even then, a lot more is expected from the industry as accelerated growth is within grasp, and more bumper years can follow. Now that climate change has been realized as fact rather than an overactive imagination by most countries across the world, there has been a major swelling of political support behind renewable energy, particularly wind energy. The growth in 2019 was mainly due to two countries, and unsurprisingly these companies are also the two biggest economies in the world in the United States and China. They are also the two biggest markets of wind energy in the world, while in some other major markets such as India and Germany, some institutional weaknesses were noted. In some developing economies which have also started to focus on renewable energy production, production was delayed due to the governments delaying tenders.
Many countries have set ambitious targets on their transition to renewable energy, with wind energy in particular. However, while it's easy to set major targets, following through can be an issue and has been for these countries due to inadequate permitting systems as well as lack of access to transmission infrastructure and land too. On the other hand, some countries just have a weak regulatory system and a lack of transparency too, because of which these countries still focus on installing coal power plants which are inefficient, costly and terribly damaging to the environment.
The current capacity of wind power in the world is now 651 GW, and in 2019, an increase of 17% was noted as compared to 2018. More than 60% of these additions took place in the two aforementioned markets which are the United States and China. Based on regions, Asia Pacific is the biggest wind power market in the world and Europe saw a noted year on year increase as well, even though Germany actually saw a 55% decrease in 2019. This decrease was more than offset by growths in other emerging European markets for wind energy which include Sweden, Greece and Spain. Other markets in Africa, Middle East, South East Asia and Latin America remain steady with none showing the propensity of accelerated growth.
At the start of the year, the world seemed to be laid at the feet of the wind power industry. Analytics based on the first quarter showed that this year was expected to break all records and more than 76 GW of installations would take place during the year. The forecast also showed that over the next 5 years, the industry would expect to add 355 GW of power in the next 5 years so basically 71GW every year till 2024. Of course, even the best of plans can be laid to waste, and that is what happened in 2020, when the worst pandemic in a century hit. As countries struggled to stop the spread of Covid-19, lockdowns were imposed on billions of people and all activities except for essential activities came to a stop. Like nearly every other industry, the wind energy sector has been deeply impacted too, as the virus originated in one of the two biggest markets, China. While China was able to regain control and more or less rid the country of the virus, the virus then spread across the globe and has majorly affected the global supply chain, and delays have been expected in the field. Even though vaccines have now been approved, it will still be some time before things return to normal and it is hard to assess the impact in monetary terms, especially due to the global recession that has affected everyone.
While the United States is one of the biggest markets of wind energy in the world, there is no company in our list of the largest wind energy companies in the world from the country. If you're wondering about wind energy stocks in the US, you might want to consider taking a look at NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) TerraForm Power (NASDAQ:TERP) Equinor (NASDAQ:EQNR) and Avangrid (NYSE:AGR). This doesn't mean that the US isn't looking to go green. In fact, you might want to even take a look at the top 10 US cities for green companies. We have used Energy Acuity, which prepares reports and statistics on the wind energy industry, and used capacity of pipelines in 2019 of each company for our ranking. So without further ado, let's take a look at the companies ready to change the world, starting with number 10:
10. MHI Vestas Offshore Wind
Total capacity of the pipeline in 2019 (in MW): 12,164.6
The company was founded just 6 years ago in 2014 and is a joint venture between MHI and Vestas. The company commissioned the most powerful offshore wind turbine. The company is accounted for by Vestas using the equity method in their financial statements.
Total capacity of the pipeline in 2019 (in MW): 13,268.37
The biggest wind energy company in India is Suzlon, which was established 25 years ago in 1995. The company is headquartered in Pune and has 17,000 MW of wind power capacity in at least 18 countries globally.
8. Sinovel Wind
Total capacity of the pipeline in 2019 (in MW): 14,020.95
The second largest wind energy company in China is Sinovel Wind, which is headquartered in Beijing. The company was founded 16 years ago back in 2004 and was responsible for the first offshore windfarm in China
Total capacity of the pipeline in 2019 (in MW): 15,321.21
The biggest wind energy company in China is Goldwind, which is headquartered in Beijing. It is easily one of the largest wind energy companies in the world and was founded 22 years ago in 1998. The company has more than 6,000 employees and back in 2015, was even the biggest wind energy company in the world back in 2015.
6. Senvion SE
Total capacity of the pipeline in 2019 (in MW): 18,469.04
This may be the first German company in our list but it definitely won't be the last. The company was founded 19 years ago in 2001 and was established through the merger of three German wind energy companies, though it is currently in major troubles and has filed for insolvency.
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Disclosure: No position. 10 largest wind energy companies in the world is originally published at Insider Monkey.