China remains one of the leading countries in terms of newly installed wind power capacity and in cumulative wind capacity. The United States wind market will remain strong over the next few years as the project pipeline continues. Corporate purchases of both wind and solar energy from major corporations are also continuing to fuel wind energy in the United States. Wind energy installations and planned projects are also strong in emerging markets. Wind energy continues to be one of the fastest growing energy sources in the world. In fact, the global wind energy potential is much greater than the world’s overall electricity consumption. For example, in the United States, it is estimated that wind energy potential in the United States is ten times greater than the country’s electricity consumption.
There are two main groups of wind turbines including horizontal-axis type like a traditional windmill used for pumping water, as well as the vertical-axis type which has an eggbeater-style. Most modern turbines use the horizontal-axis turbine varieties. Wind turbines have steadily grown in size as manufacturers attempt increase the potential of wind. Less than a decade ago, a large majority of onshore turbines were less than two megawatts. However, turbine size has quickly adjusted so that about 90 percent of turbines are over two megawatts. Rotor sizes and power ratings of wind turbines tend to vary between manufacturers, however, most companies aim to reuse components to cut costs and shorten development cycles.