The 12 Largest Wind Energy Companies In The World, And What They Do

largest wind energy companies

The 12 Largest Wind Energy Companies In The World, And What They Do

Discover profiles of the 12 largest wind energy companies in the world and what they do in the renewable energy sector in this informative guide. 

In the last decade, the push for domestic and international energy markets to use renewable sources of energy has led to massive growth in wind energy production. The global wind energy market is now worth at least $77 billion and energy sector analysts expect this to climb to a value of at least $132 billion by 2030.

Wind energy companies generate electricity from the movement of the rotor blades of wind turbines by the wind. A generator then converts this kinetic energy into electricity that can be fed into domestic or international energy grids. Demand for wind energy is increasing globally because governments and business leaders consider using wind for electricity generation sustainable, with a low environmental impact compared to conventional fossil fuel energy sources. 

In this article, we share the 12 largest wind energy companies in the world, and what they do. Read on for an informative profile of global wind companies whose activities span wind turbine manufacture, wind farms, and international investment in wind energy.

#1 Vestas – Revenue:  €12.147 billion

largest wind energy companies
Vestas Wind Systems A/S is a Danish manufacturer, seller, installer, and servicer of wind turbines.

Vestas Wind Systems A/S, originally a Danish electrical equipment company, is now the world’s largest producer, installer, and servicer of wind turbines, operating globally. It has named itself “the most sustainable company in the world”.

Summary points 

  • Headquarters location: Aarhus, Denmark
  • Publicly traded as VWS (Nasdaq Copenhagen) 
  • Founding:  1945 by Peder Hansen
  • Current CEO: Henrik Andersen (Group President)
  • Revenue:  €12.147 billion (2019)
  • Number of employees: over 29,000
  • Website: www.vestas.com
  • Social media: www.linkedin.com/company/vestas

Company profile 

Vestas is a global wind turbine company that leads the market in the design, manufacture, installation, development, and servicing of wind turbines. To date, they have installed wind turbines that generate over 157 gigawatts of power in over 88 countries and five continents. 

History of Vestas 

Vestas was founded in 1945 Vestjysk Stålteknik A/S by Peder Hansen, whose family had operated as blacksmiths for at least 40 years prior. The company manufactured a variety of metal household appliances, later moving to cooling devices and hydraulics. Vestas produced its first wind turbine in 1979, producing them exclusively within 10 years of entering the market. In 2003 Vestas merged with wind turbine manufacturer NEG Miconto creating the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer. 

Wind energy generation has been the core competence of Vestas for over 40 years. As wind energy has come to the fore as a low-emission, renewable energy source, Vestas has grown its market share and is a keen advocate of societal electrification. In some countries, this has proved controversial as Vestas has found itself implicated in tribal disputes over land used for wind farms in Kenya.

#2 GE Wind Energy – Revenue:  $10.4 billion

GE Wind Energy is part of GE Renewable Energy, a subsidiary of General Electric Company. GE Wind Energy is the world’s fourth-largest wind turbine manufacturer, providing onshore and offshore wind generation solutions to the international market. 

Summary points 

  • Headquarters location: Fairfield, Connecticut, U.S.
  • Publicly traded as GEC (NYSE) 
  • Founding:  1980 by James Dehlsen
  • Current CEO: Pete McCabe (Onshore Wind) & John B. Lavelle (Offshore Wind)
  • Revenue:  $10.4 billion (2020)
  • Website: https://www.ge.com/renewableenergy/wind-energy
  • Social media: www.linkedin.com/company/gerenewableenergy/

Company profile 

GE Wind is a leading supplier of wind turbines with more than 49,000 turbines installed and a portfolio of wind energy solutions that span onshore and offshore renewable energy generation. They also provide development services, operations, and maintenance for large wind turbine fleets.  Their turn-key approach to renewable energy projects includes the development and implementation of solutions for delivering the energy generated by wind turbines to where it is needed.

History of GE Wind Energy

GE acquired the wind energy developer Zond which started in the 1980s and had been operating as Enron Wind. When Enron went bankrupt in 2002, GE purchased Enron Wind and a German turbine manufacturer, Tacke Windtechnik. The acquisition of Enron Wind included a valuable patent for variable-speed systems that helped GE grow its market share. GE Wind used the Tack Windtechnik manufacturing infrastructure to produce its turbines in Germany. Further acquisitions under the GE umbrella include ScanWind and Wind Tower Systems LLC which produced the wind turbine towers.

GE operates globally, with its turbines installed in over 35 countries with up to 62 gigawatts of capacity. GE wind is the designer of the world’s largest wind turbine known as the Haliade-X. This 14  MW turbine, with a 220-meter rotor, is currently being tested at the GE facilities in Blyth, England. 

#3 Guodian United Power – $ 27.315 Billion

Guodian United Power is a Chinese State-owned wind turbine developer, manufacturer, and power company. It is a subsidiary of China Guodian Corporation, one of the five largest power producers in China. They produce wind turbines with capacities up to 6 MW along with turbine generators, and other energy sector-related equipment. 

Summary points 

  • Headquarters location: Beijing
  • State-owned
  • Founding:  1994 
  • Current CEO: unknown
  • Registered capital of 313 million Yuan
  • Revenue $ 27.315 billion (2017)
  • Number of employees: over 10,000
  • Website: www.cccme.cn/shop/cccme10501/introduction.aspx; www.gdupc.com.cn
  • Social media: www.linkedin.com/company/guodian-united-power/

Company profile 

Guodian United Power is a wind energy company that is owned by the Chinese state and headquartered in Beijing, China. It is comprised of two subsidiaries with manufacturing plants in Baoding and Lianyungang. It offers turnkey wind turbine design and manufacturing with ongoing services and support. They currently produce a 1.5 MW joint German design wind turbine along with generators, gearboxes, and other critical components. 

#4 Suzlon – Revenue:  $520 million

largest wind energy companies

Suzlon is a wind turbine supplier based in Pune, India. It was formerly ranked as the world’s fifth largest supplier of wind turbines.

Suzlon is an Indian wind turbine manufacturer. It operates internationally and was at one point the world’s fifth largest manufacturer of wind turbines. It is headquartered in Pune, India.  

Summary points 

  • Headquarters location: Hadapsar, Pune, Maharashtra, India
  • Publicly traded as SUZLON (NSE) 
  • Founding:  1995 by Tulsi Tanti
  • Current CEO: Ashwani Kumar 
  • Revenue:  $520 million (2019)
  • Number of employees: over 8,000
  • Website:  www.suzlon.com
  • Social media: https://twitter.com/suzlon

Company profile 

Suzlon Group is one of India’s leading developers and manufacturers of renewable energy solutions. They operate globally with a presence in 17 countries spanning five continents, with 17,000 MW of capacity. They invest heavily in R&D to deliver wind turbines and generators with optimized yields with robust and reliable performance. 

History of Suzlon

Suzlon began as one man’s solution to energy instability in his textile manufacturing business. Tulsi Tanti (now chairman) started building wind turbines to provide electricity for his factory. The success of this project led to him starting Suzlon Energy and providing turbines for other businesses, with funding from banks. By 2003, Suzlon had sold wind turbines for projects in the US and began producing rotor blades in America, with expansion to Beijing. Suzlon also grew by vertical acquisitions, to manufacture components like gearboxes. 

The financial crisis of 2009 impacted the profitability of Suzlon, which then began an extensive debt and restructuring program. However, the company has bounced back with fifteen manufacturing facilities across the world.

Suzlon specializes in high-yield wind turbines with a low lifecycle cost. One of their leading turbine designs is a 140-meter all-steel lattice-tubular tower wind turbine that is designed for low wind sites. Suzlon also undertakes operations maintenance and servicing with SCADA-based monitoring of fleets and wind farms to maintain performance. 

#5 Goldwind – $3.9 billion

largest wind energy companies
Xinjiang Goldwind Science and Technology Co Ltd is one of China’s largest renewable energy companies, focussing on the R&D, manufacturing, and installation of wind turbines.

Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co., Ltd. (Goldwind) is a Chinese wind turbine manufacturer that is based in Beijing. Prior to 2007, it was state-owned. 

Summary points 

  • Headquarters location: Beijing 
  • Publicly traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange
  • Founding:  1998 by Wu Gang
  • Chairman: Wu Gang
  • Revenue:  $3.9 billion (2016)
  • Number of employees: over 6,000
  • Website: https://www.goldwind.com/en/
  • Social media: https://www.linkedin.com/company/goldwind

Company profile 

Goldwind is one of China’s largest renewable energy companies. It is focused on the R&D, manufacturing, and installation of wind turbines of up to 3 MW. It also manufactures generators and provides wind power technology services. Goldwind is multinational and operates across six continents. It has installed onshore and offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of 38 gigawatts. Subsidiary companies have completed over 500 MW of turbine installations in the United States.

History of Goldwind

Goldwind was originally founded as Xinjiang Wind Energy using a $3.2 million grant from the Danish government. The grant was used to build China’s first wind farm, which opened in 1989. The current company was founded by Chinese Communist Party member Wu Gang as part of a government program. It was state-funded to open its first manufacturing plant and operated under a technology transfer agreement with German turbine manufacturer, Vensys, in 2008. Goldwind subsequently became majority owned by Goldwind. With state funding, Goldwind grew to become the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer in 2015 (later overtaken by Vestas).

Goldwind is known for its near-exclusive use of Permanent Magnet Direct-Drive (PMDD) wind turbine technology. Their close commercial partnership with Vensys provides significant design and engineering support. 

#6 NextEra Energy Resources – $19 billion

largest wind energy companies
NextEra Energy Resources is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from wind and sun.

NextEra Energy Resources (NEER) is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc. and the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from wind and sun. It has over 34 gigawatts of renewable energy generation capacity and it’s parent company NextEra is the largest electric utility holding company in the US and Canada.

Summary points 

  • Headquarters location: Juno Beach, Florida
  • Publicly traded as NEE (NYSE)
  • Founding:  1998 by Wu Gang
  • CEO: James L. Robo
  • Revenue:  $19 billion (2019)
  • Number of employees: over 14,000+
  • Website: https://www.nexteraenergy.com/
  • Social media: https://twitter.com/nexteraenergy

Company profile 

NextEra Energy Resources owns significant interests in wind, with facilities in 21 states (Texas and the Midwest) and 4 Canadian provinces. They have Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with large companies, including Google Energy, and AT&T. As of 2018, NextEra Energy Resources owned 113 wind projects, producing over 12,800  MW. One of the largest wind projects owned by NextEra Energy Resources is the Capricorn Ridge Wind Energy Center in Sterling County and Coke County, Texas which produces 662.5  MW of electricity annually.

History of NextEra Energy Resources

NextEra Energy Resources is a subsidiary of NextEra which was originally the Florida Power & Light Company (founded in 1925) and later FPL Group Inc. (1984).  FPL Group Inc changed its name to NextEra Energy in 2010.

A number of scandals have affected the wind energy operations of NextEra Energy Resources including being implicated in the deaths of over 150 eagles for which NextEra was fined millions of dollars. They also received a cease and desist order from the Oklahoma state authorities for constructing a wind farm in violation of state laws.

#7 Nordex – $3.6 billion

largest wind energy companies
A Nordex wind turbine against the blue sky. Nordex is a Northern European company that is one of the largest wind turbine manufacturers.

Nordex SE is a Northern European company that designs and manufactures wind turbines. Headquartered in Rostock, Germany, its global operations include manufacturing plants in Germany, China, India, Brazil, Mexico, and the US. It is recognized as one of the largest wind turbine manufacturers and delivers wind turbines that are high-yield, cost-efficient, and suitable for a range of geographical and climatic conditions.

Summary points 

  • Headquarters location: Rostock, Germany
  • Publicly traded as ISIN: DE000A0D6554 (Frankfurt Stock Exchange)
  • Founding:  1985
  • CEO: José Luis Blanco Diéguez
  • Revenue:  $3.6 billion (2017)
  • Number of employees: over 9,000+
  • Website: https://www.nordex-online.com/en/
  • Social media: https://www.linkedin.com/company/nordex/

Company profile 

Nordex is one of Europe’s largest wind energy companies. Its expertise is in the production and management of onshore wind turbines. It is a growing company with more than 9,000 employees and offices in over 30 countries globally. Nordex’s current focus is on wind turbines in the 6+ MW class.

History of Nordex

Nordex was founded in Give, Denmark in 1985, later moving to Hamburg and Rostock in Germany. In 1995 Nordex was the first to launch mass-produced 1 MW wind turbines. By 2000, Nordex was manufacturing 2 MW turbines and later launched the first 4 MW wind turbine in 2017. In 2016, Nordex acquired Acciona Windpower, a Spanish wind turbine manufacturer. 

Nordex continues to develop its competitive product portfolio to meet the demands of its diverse client base which includes large utilities and SMEs wind farms. This company also supports customers to optimize their energy production costs long-term through development, maintenance, and servicing over the entire operational lifecycle of its turbines. 

#8 Inox Wind Ltd – $1.37 billion

Indian wind energy company Inox Wind Ltd is a subsidiary of the Inox Group and a manufacturer of wind energy products including turbines, rotor blades, towers, and generators. It is based in Noida, India.

Summary points 

  • Headquarters location: Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Publicly traded as INOXWIND (NSE)
  • Founding:  2009
  • Director: Devansh Jain
  • Revenue:  $1.37 billion
  • Number of employees: over 9,000
  • Website: https://www.inoxwind.com
  • Social media: https://mobile.twitter.com/inox_wind_ltd

Company profile 

Inox Wind Ltd. provides comprehensive wind energy solutions that combine the manufacture of wind turbine generators with services that include: 

  • Site acquisition
  • Wind resource assessment
  • Infrastructure projects 
  • Wind turbine installations
  • Long-term maintenance

Inox Wind manufactures wind turbines in facilities in Gujarat (blades and towers), Himachal Pradesh (hubs and nacelles), and Madhya Pradesh (blades). Its newest facility in Madhya Pradesh is one of Asia’s largest wind energy manufacturing facilities and employs at least 5000 people. Inox Wind’s engineering expertise is used to build high-yield turbines for low-wind sites which are common in India. Inox Wind serves clients that include utility companies, corporates, and retail investors.

History of Inox Wind Ltd

Inox Wind was first incorporated in 2009 after entering into license agreements for wind turbine technology with AMSC and WINDnovation. In 2010, Inox’s plant commenced production with its first turbines, which were installed in Tamil Nadu. Later, Inox began to build rotor blades and tubular steel towers, creating wind farms of more than 50 MW in Gujarat. By 2013, Inox Wind produced over 400 MW of wind energy capacity across several Indian states. 

Inox Wind provides clients with either a turnkey solution or an equipment supply model. The turnkey package takes complete care of wind energy generation at a site including commissioning, installation, and ongoing operations and maintenance for the site. Alternatively, Inox can provide clients with wind turbines or individual components to be installed and operated by the client.

#9 Iberdrola – $32.8 billion

largest wind energy companies
Iberdrola’s main office building in Bilbao. Iberdrola is a company dedicated to the production, distribution, and commercialization of energy.

Spanish conglomerate Iberdrola is the world’s second-biggest producer of wind power and the world’s third-largest electricity company. It has subsidiaries in countries that include the United Kingdom, United States, Nigeria, Brazil, Mexico, and Portugal. It owns and maintains large inshore and offshore wind farms in the UK, US, and Spain. New offshore wind energy installations are in progress in the Baltics.

Summary points 

  • Headquarters location: Bilbao, Spain
  • Publicly traded as BMAD (IBE)
  • Founding:  2001
  • Chairman and CEO: José Ignacio Sánchez Galán
  • Revenue:  $32.8 billion
  • Number of employees: over 39,000
  • Website: https://www.iberdrola.com/home
  • Social media: https://www.linkedin.com/company/iberdrola/

Company profile 

Iberdrola has cornered the market on wind power, becoming the world’s largest owner/operator of wind farms. In  2021, they reported and installed an operating wind power capacity of over 55, 000 MW and generated 42,951 GWh of electricity from wind power within a year. Iberdrola is focused on the transition to renewable energy and has increased investment in this sector year on year. It currently generates 79% of its electricity using renewable sources like wind. 

History of Iberdrola

Iberdrola Renovables has held the wind energy interests of Iberdrola since 2001 and July 2011 when the parent company bought out its minority shares. It currently functions as the renewables part of the company. The parent company goes back at least 170 years, starting in the United States as The Hartford City Light Company in 1840. The initial focus of the company was the generation of hydroelectricity, later mergers and acquisitions added expertise in nuclear energy and secures global spread. From 2006 onwards Iberdrola has invested heavily in renewables with 8,700 MW of wind energy presently under construction.

Iberdrola wind farms are part of its Renewable Energy Operations Centers (CORE). The centers, based in Toledo, Portland, and Glasgow, generate electricity for Iberola energy subsidiaries and control renewables-related substations across the globe.

#10 EDP Renewables North America – $931.19 million

largest wind energy companies
EDP Renewables is one of the largest wind companies in North America.

EDP Renewables North America is one of the largest American wind companies. It is the North American arm of EDP Renewables, the Spanish parent company. Based in Houston, Texas, they survey, acquire, build, and operate wind farms across North America. They have grown their wind farms through multiple acquisitions of existing wind farms.

Summary points 

  • Headquarters location: Houston, Texas, United States
  • Publicly traded as EDPR (ELI)
  • Founding: 1998
  • CEO: Miguel Stilwell de Andrade
  • Revenue:  $931.19 million
  • Number of employees: 675 (2019)
  • Website: https://www.edpr.com/north-america/
  • Social media: https://www.linkedin.com/company/edp-renov-veis/

Company profile 

EDP Renewables North America is the fourth-largest wind developer in the United States. It operates 58 wind farms and along with its solar parks generates over 8,200 MW of electricity, powering up to 3 million US homes. Their wind farms span 14 US states, including Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, and Texas.

History of EDP Renewables North America

EDP Renewables North America was founded in 1998 as Zilkha Renewable Energy. Its first operational project was Madison Wind Farm, which was New York’s first utility-scale wind project.

In 2005 Zilkha Renewable Energy was bought out by Goldman Sachs and became Horizon Wind Energy. By 2007, EDP Renewables purchased it, to become EDP Renewables North America.

EDP Renewables North America developed Meadow Lake Wind Farm, one of the largest wind farms in the world. They have also developed extensive energy storage facilities to ensure that the captured wind power is available to customers 24 hours per day, whatever the weather.

#11 Akuo Energy – Revenue:  $286 million

Akuo Energy SAS is an alternative energy company that sources power from wind, sun, water, and biogas. It operates globally and has over 900 MW of wind energy capacity, with additional projects under construction. 

Summary points 

  • Headquarters location: Avenue des Champs Elysees Paris, France
  • Publicly traded as EDPR (ELI)
  • Founding:  2007 (Eric Scotto and Patrice Lucas)
  • President:Eric Scotto
  • Revenue:  $286 million
  • Number of employees: 500+ 
  • Website: https://www.akuoenergy.com/en/wind
  • Social media: https://www.linkedin.com/company/akuo-energy/

Company profile 

Akuo Energy has an international portfolio of 20 wind farms in locations that include Uruguay, Croatia, Montenegro, and the US. Wind power is a substantial share of Akuo’s energy generation, and accounts for over two-thirds of its in-service capacity.

History of Akuo Energy

 Akuo Energy was founded in 2007 by Eric Scotto and Patrice Lucas. The name “Akuo” is derived from the Japanese “Hakuhō” a notable era of Japanese culture. By 2009 the group had raised capital to commission its first electricity production plant, in Réunion. They further diversified into solar power, and wood biomass, commissioning the Kogeban power plant in Picardy in 2013. 

Akuo Energy’s first wind farm, in Montenegro, was commissioned in 2017. A 150 MW capacity wind farm in the United States followed, and a further 50MW wind farm in the Dominican Republic in 2019. The company is continuing to expand its portfolio of wind projects.

Akuo works with Vestas and other wind generation equipment makers to build its wind farms. It chooses its suppliers on a project-by-project basis, carefully evaluating the regional expertise of the supplier and the performance of its turbines on the wind farm’s terrain.

#12 Greencoat UK Wind – Revenue:  $498 million

largest wind energy companies
Greencoat UK Wind is an investment company specializing in the acquisition of wind farms.

Greencoat UK Wind is an investment company that finances the operation of wind farms on behalf of a variety of stakeholders. With over 6 billion in assets under management, it is one of the world’s largest investment managers that is solely concerned with renewables like wind.   

Summary points 

  • Headquarters location: London
  • Publicly traded as UKW (LSE)
  • Founded: 2009
  • President: David Boyce
  • Revenue:  $498 million
  • Website: https://www.greencoat-ukwind.com/
  • Social media: https://www.linkedin.com/company/greencoat-uk-wind-plc/about

Company profile

Greencoat UK Wind is a global specialist in the acquisition and operation of wind farm portfolios on behalf of its investors. Greencoat has a team that is comprised of engineers with a strong background in renewables, grid, and utilities along with financiers to ensure that they appropriately manage the technical complexities of managing wind farms. 

History of Greencoat UK Wind

Greencoat UK Wind was founded in 2009. It has since built up a portfolio of just under 200 wind farms across the UK, Europe, and the US with an energy generating capacity of over 3 gigawatts. 

Summary of The 12 Largest Wind Energy Companies In The World

1Vestas – Revenue:  €12.147 billion
2GE Wind Energy – Revenue:  $10.4 billion
3Guodian United Power – $ 27.315 Billion
4Suzlon – Revenue:  $520 million
5Goldwind – $3.9 billion
6NextEra Energy Resources – $19 billion
7Nordex – $3.6 billion
8Inox Wind Ltd – $1.37 billion
9Iberdrola – $32.8 billion
10EDP Renewables North America – $931.19 million
11Akuo Energy – Revenue:  $286 million
12Greencoat UK Wind – Revenue:  $498 million

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Frequently Asked Questions

How many homes can a megawatt (MW) of electricity power?

One megawatt (MW) is one thousand kilowatts or a million watts of power. This is enough energy to power 200 to 750 homes, depending on their size and consumption.

How many homes can a gigawatt (GW) of electricity power?

One gigawatt (GW) is one million kilowatts or a billion watts of power. This is enough energy to power between 200,000 and one million homes, depending on their size and consumption.

What factors affect the amount of power a wind turbine generates?

The amount of power generated by a wind turbine depends on:

  • the height of the turbine from the ground
  • the rotor area
  • the blade radius of the wind turbine
  • the location of the wind turbine – particularly onshore vs. offshore and the presence of obstructions
  • air density in the wind turbine’s location

the theoretical maximum efficiency for the wind turbine, known as the Betz limit

How much of the world’s electricity is generated from wind?

Wind energy is the leading non-hydro renewable energy technology. In 2020 wind energy supplied 1592 TWh of electricity which was 5% of global electricity generation and 2% of electricity consumption. This is more than the other renewable energy sources combined.

What are the disadvantages of wind energy?

Though wind energy is a low-emissions energy source, it has several practical and environmental disadvantages. Downsides of wind energy include:

  1. The rotating blades of wind turbines can kill migratory birds and bats
  2. Wind turbines can create noise pollution if sited close to residential areas
  3. The movement of the blades can change surface air temperature. 
  4. Wind availability is inconsistent, therefore wind turbines do not provide a continuous supply of electricity. 
  5. Wind turbines create a ‘shadow flicker phenomenon. This is where the rotor blades cast intermittent shadows in properties close to the turbines. 
  6. Wind energy has high upfront costs, including land acquisition and surveying, site development, and the fabrication and installation of suitable wind turbines.

What is Onshore wind?

Onshore wind is wind energy generation on land rather than out at sea. Wind energy companies install onshore wind farms in suitable areas with low habitat value. Onshore wind generation is quicker, easier, and cheaper to install than offshore wind and there is less voltage drop between the wind turbine and the end user. However, onshore wind speeds are less predictable than offshore wind, impacting the consistency of power generation.

What is Offshore wind?

Offshore wind energy generation takes on bodies of water, to take advantage of higher and more consistent wind speeds that are available, in the absence of physical obstructions. Offshore turbines are larger and more powerful than an onshore wind turbine. But installing offshore wind farms is expensive and complex, costing at least 20% more than onshore wind farms. Turbines installed out at sea are vulnerable to corrosion and increased maintenance needs.

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