Wind Power Generation
Companies in this industry operate power generation facilities that use turbines to convert wind into electricity. Major companies include US-based Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Invenergy, NextEra Energy, and Pattern Energy, as well as EDP Renováveis and IBERDROLA Renewables (both based in Spain), EDF (France), and EON Climate & Renewables (Germany).
The value of the world's wind energy market is about $100 billion, according to Navigant Research. Global wind turbine capacity totals about 550 gigawatts (GW). Major sources of new wind farm development include China, the US, Germany, the United Kingdom, India, Brazil, and France. Emerging markets, primarily in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, represent new development opportunities for global wind power generators.
The US wind power generation industry includes about 300 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) that operate varying numbers of wind turbine farms and have combined annual revenue of about $5 billion.
Demand for wind power generation is driven by public support for alternative, nonpolluting renewable energy production methods, along with government incentives that encourage the production and use of renewable energy. Profitability of individual companies depends on strategically locating wind farms in geographies with sufficient wind conditions and access to electric transmission facilities. Large companies often have other energy holdings (such as traditional electricity generation plants and energy distribution operations), enjoy economies of scale in equipment purchasing, and can serve a broader geographic area. Small companies can compete effectively by promoting themselves as greener than traditional energy companies, and through serving local communities. The industry in the US is highly concentrated: the top 20 companies account for more than 90% of revenue.
As a technology, wind competes with other forms of renewable energy, such as solar power, for investment dollars. Renewable energy sources are increasingly cost-competitive with other power generation technologies. US wind power capacity at the end of 2018 was about 96,500 MW, or about 6% of the nation's total electric generating capacity, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
Products, Operations & Technology
Wind turbines are typically constructed of steel and come in two basic configurations: horizontal axis and vertical axis. A horizontal axis turbine, the
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