Investment Ideas / Wind energy: stats and trends

Wind energy is a renewable source of energy generation, which has developed a great deal over recent years. Some energy companies and engineering firms are indeed enthusiastic about increasing wind generation, and ensuring advances in generating technology. National governments and international environmental agreements have also increased the demand for sourcing renewable forms of energy.

Wind turbines, especially when grouped together in the form of wind farms are a highly efficient way of generating power without harming the environment. They are more efficient than nuclear power stations, and nowhere near as controversial. The cost of producing electricity is really low compared with nuclear, coal, or gas fuelled generators. It was estimated to cost just over 2 US cents to produce 1 KW of power.

Currently every year the world produces enough wind energy to power 6 million homes, yet if the United States increases output as quickly as planned then it will power 25 million of its own homes.

At the moment the trends for wind energy production is for strong growth, right across the globe. After all the technology already exists, it just needs to be put to greater use, especially as stocks of fossil fuels start to become exhausted. Wind turbines are basically more effective the bigger they are. Take a 1 MW turbine, it is cheaper to use as a generator than coal, and produces no CO2, compared to 1500 tonnes produced via coal.

Some countries have been more active than others in taking advantage of wind energy. In the European Union, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom are generating the highest amounts of electricity via turbines, the United Kingdom and Germany having wind farms offshore to make use of stronger winds out to sea. The Irish Republic has plans to do likewise and potentially could be the largest producer of wind energy in Europe.

In Denmark, some 20% of electricity comes from wind turbines. The Danes also have the distinction of being the largest makers of wind turbines in the world, as well as the most innovative. Vistas and Siemens are setting the trend at making turbines even more efficient and thus even better at reducing greenhouse gases.

Wind energy is not just confined to Europe and North America, its use is expanding across Asia, with the Chinese company Goldwind making turbines. With China and India having the largest populations in the world, expanding the generation of wind energy there would increase global production considerably.

Related companies

Country Company Ticker
Australia CBD Energy Limited CBDE
Brazil CPFL Energia S.A. CPL
China Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. Ltd.H XJNGF
China Jinpan International Limited JST
China China Ming Yang Wind Power Group Limited MY
China Cleantech Solutions International Inc. CLNT
Denmark Vestas Wind Systems A/S VWSYF
Germany Siemens AG SIEGY
USA First Trust ISE Global Wind Energy ETF FAN
USA American Superconductor Corporation AMSC
USA Atlantic Power Corporation AT
USA Broadwind Energy Inc. BWEN
India Sesa Sterlite Limited SSLT


American Wind Energy Association
European Wind Energy Association

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