Wind energy has overtaken hydro as the third largest source of power generation in the EU with a 15.6% share of total power capacity. There is around 142GW of installed wind energy capacity in the EU; approximately 131 GW onshore and 11 GW offshore.
A surge in solar and wind power jobs in the US led the way to a worldwide increase in renewable energy employment to more than 8 million people in 2015. The wind energy sector employs around 1.1 million people, which is up 5% on 2014. China leads the way with almost half the jobs. Germany has seen an increase due to the development in offshore wind farms. In India, the wind energy market has seen substantial activity, due to the implementation of ambitious renewable energy targets. The subsequent extension of the PTC (Production Tax Credit) until January 2020 should ensure continued growth for the wind energy industry in the next 5 years.
Siemens and Vestas are the leading wind turbine suppliers for offshore power while companies such as Vattnfall, E.O.N. and DONG Energy are the leading operators. The largest offshore wind farms are:
Turbines and model
175 × Siemens SWT-3.6
Gwynt y Môr
160 × Siemens SWT-3.6 107
140 × Siemens SWT-3.6
111 × Siemens SWT-3.6–120
BARD Offshore 1
80 BARD 5.0 turbines
Wind Farm operation and maintenance roles:
EDP Renewables - Horizon Wind Energy LLC (“Horizon”) develops, constructs, owns and operates wind farms throughout North America. Based in Houston, Texas with over 20 offices across the United States, Horizon has developed more than 2,800 megawatts (MW) and operates over 2,000 MW of wind farms.
GE Energy - GE Energy is one of the world's leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technologies in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy as well as with renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and alternative fuels
Iberdrola Renewables - Iberdrola Renewables is a leader in optimized energy solutions tailored to meet the needs of wholesale and large commercial and industrial customers.
Invenergy - Invenergy and its affiliated companies develop, own and operate large-scale renewable and other clean energy generation facilities in North America and Europe. Invenergy is committed to clean power alternatives and continued innovation in electricity generation. Invenergy's home office is located in Chicago and it has regional development offices throughout the United States and in Canada and Europe.
NextEra Energy - NextEra Energy Resources is in the competitive energy business. They develop, construct and operate power plants to produce electricity. They market NextEra electricity to wholesale customers and develop the critical infrastructure for power delivery.
Upwind Solutions - UpWind Solutions was founded in 2007 to serve a growing demand for quality wind turbine services in North America and across the globe. They were founded on the belief that an innovative approach is required when dealing with the challenges in our industry today.
Research, development and manufacturing
Vestas - As the industry leader, Vestas sets the agenda in the modern energy sector. Thier goal is to expand their position by setting new standards for the industry in all disciplines, and significantly increasing our professionalism in dealings with stakeholders – from shareholders and customers to employees
Alstom Power - Alstom is a global leader in the world of power generation and sets the benchmark for innovative and environmentally conscious technologies.
Siemens Energy - The Siemens Energy Sector is the world’s leading supplier of a complete spectrum of products, services and solutions for the generation, transmission and distribution of power.
Recurrent Energy- Recurrent Energy is a leading solar project developer, providing clean electricity to utilities and large energy buyers. The company's vision is to use proven solar technology to meet rising energy demand with a fleet of clean power plants located right where they're needed most.
Apex Wind Energy- Apex Wind Energy, Inc. is a leading U.S.- based developer of commercial-scale wind energy facilities in North America. With a team of some of the most experienced wind energy professionals in the industry, we have built a strong reputation for responsible development and quality projects constructed to the highest industry standards.
Wind Turbine Developments
Economies of scale are encouraging larger and larger turbines to be developed. Turbines rated as 5MW can now be bought off the shelf, while components suitable for future turbines of 7.5MW are now being developed and tested. This growth in turbine size is encouraging and enabling both the repowering of existing wind farm sites and the proposal of large new off-shore farms which would have been considered uneconomic with the small turbines available ten years ago.
Wind Energy Jobs
As the industry grows and matures, the demand for technical expertise is being extended to expertise in the softer areas such as PR, community liaison, environmental impact, etc. The sector offers capable and energetic individuals vast potential to succeed in an industry which is growing faster than any other. The international nature of the wind industry means that individuals with additional language skills are especially valued.
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