The 10 Largest Renewable Companies In The World, And What They Do

The 10 Largest Renewable Energy Companies in the World, And What They Do

The threat of climate change has made the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources an urgent priority. Major companies around the world are leading the charge by generating clean power from the wind, sun, water and other sustainable sources. As nations target ambitious emissions reductions, these renewable energy leaders are critical for scaling green technologies and demonstrating viable business models.

The 10 companies profiled below are the world’s largest renewable power producers spanning wind, solar, hydroelectric and other sources. Collectively they operate over 21,000 renewable energy generation facilities across dozens of countries. That’s enough capacity to power hundreds of millions of homes with clean electricity instead of planet-warming fossil fuels. Read on to learn what makes these renewable giants tick.

  1. SunPower (SPWR) – Solar Photovoltaics

2022 Revenue: $1.39 billion
Headquarters: California, United States
Main Renewable Technology: Solar photovoltaic panels and systems

SunPower has installed solar power systems capable of generating over 5 gigawatts (GW) of clean electricity globally since its founding in 1985. One of the longest-tenured solar companies, SunPower manufactures highly efficient solar photovoltaic cells and panels for residential, commercial and utility-scale projects. The company holds the world record for most efficient rooftop solar panel at 25% efficiency. SunPower also develops complete solar plus storage systems to enable 24/7 renewable power.

With advanced panel technology and battery integration expertise, SunPower is driving down solar electricity costs to accelerate the world’s transition from fossil fuels. The company currently powers the equivalent of over 1 million homes with renewable energy instead of CO2-emitting alternatives.

  1. Renewable Energy Group (REGI) – Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel

2022 Revenue: $2.61 billion
Headquarters: Iowa, United States
Main Renewable Technology: Biodiesel and renewable diesel production and logistics

Renewable Energy Group (REGI) is the largest producer of biomass-based diesel fuel in the United States. The company converts fats, oils and greases into lower-emissions renewable fuels. Each gallon of diesel replaced by REGI’s biofuel eliminates up to 80% of lifecycle carbon emissions compared to traditional diesel.

With 14 biorefineries capable of producing over 625 million gallons per year, REGI is making a sizable dent in transportation emissions. If all their annual biofuel output was used as a diesel substitute, it would eliminate over 4 million metric tons of CO2 emissions – equal to removing 900,000 cars off the road. As global diesel demand shows no signs of abating, REGI’s renewable diesel offers immediate emissions reductions from heavy transport without requiring new vehicles.

  1. First Solar (FSLR) – Solar Photovoltaics

2022 Revenue: $2.8 billion
Headquarters: Arizona, United States
Main Renewable Technology: Solar panels

First Solar is the Western hemisphere’s largest solar panel manufacturer and a top 5 global producer. The company operates factories in the United States, Vietnam and Malaysia equipped to produce over 10 GW per year of advanced thin-film solar modules. First Solar’s panels have been installed in scaled solar farms across 6 continents capable of generating over 30 GW of zero-emissions electricity to date.

A solar pioneer since 1999, First Solar is also leading innovations to improve solar technology and accelerate global adoption. The company holds the world record for most efficient thin-film solar panel at 22.8% efficiency. First Solar also leverages big data and machine learning to optimize system performance and is piloting technologies to recycle old panels into new. As solar power expands from rooftops to utility-scale farms, First Solar’s panels lead in cost-effectiveness and sustainability.

  1. Canadian Solar (CSIQ) – Solar Photovoltaics

2022 Revenue: $5.28 billion
Headquarters: Ontario, Canada
Main Renewable Technology: Solar photovoltaic modules

Since its founding in 2001, Canadian Solar has grown into one of the world’s largest solar technology manufacturers. Operating from manufacturing centers in Canada, Brazil, Vietnam and China, Canadian Solar has supplied over 70 gigawatts of high-performance solar photovoltaic modules to customers in over 150 countries.

Installations of the company’s solar products around the globe can generate enough clean renewable electricity to displace over 16.5 million tons of CO2 annually. That’s equivalent to taking 3.6 million cars off the road each year. Canadian Solar also operates solar project development subsidiaries across five continents with a project pipeline exceeding 20 GW.

The International Energy Agency recently named Canadian Solar the most bankable PV manufacturer in the world for the ability to scale and deliver on large solar projects. The company also vows to achieve 100% renewable power usage across its global manufacturing operations by 2027.

  1. Brookfield Renewable Partners (BEP) – Hydroelectricity

2022 Revenue: $4.1 billion
Headquarters: Ontario, Canada
Main Renewable Technology: Hydroelectric power facilities

Brookfield Renewable Partners operates one of the world’s largest publicly traded renewable power platforms with 21,000 megawatts across hydroelectric, wind, solar, distributed generation and storage facilities in North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

Hydroelectric power is Brookfield’s strong suit, accounting for 75% its renewable energy capacity. The company’s fleet of 845 renewable generation facilities includes 219 hydroelectric stations capable of sustaining 16,000 MW of carbon-free electricity. Developing new hydropower facilities also enables Brookfield to make historic investments to increase capacity of existing dams through technological enhancements.

Brookfield’s renewable electricity output avoids more than 29 million metric tons of carbon emissions per year, equivalent to removing over 6 million cars from the road. The renewable giant has invested over $55 billion into clean energy infrastructure to-date and continues steadily building out solar, wind and storage capabilities to complement its hydroelectric foundation.

  1. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (GCTAF) – Wind Turbines

2022 Revenue: $9.3 billion
Headquarters: Zamudio, Spain
Main Renewable Technology: Onshore and offshore wind turbines

Formed in 2017 from a merger between Spain’s Gamesa and Germany’s Siemens Wind Power, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy is a leading manufacturer of onshore and offshore wind turbines. With over 140 GW of wind turbine capacity installed in 75 countries, Siemens Gamesa accounts for roughly 15% of total global wind installations that save over 300 million tons of CO2 annually.

Siemens Gamesa caters to small residential turbines all the way up to prototype offshore giants capable of supplying renewable power to large cities. The company holds the world record for most powerful wind turbine with the SG 14-236 DD offshore model rated at 236 meters in height and 107 meters in blade length.

Recently, Siemens Gamesa launched the first wind turbine model certified to operate for 35 years to set a new reliability standard. The company is also developing recyclable wind turbine blade technology to raise sustainability. Dominating in diverse geographies from Europe to Asia, Siemens Gamesa is cementing wind power as a rapidly scalable, low cost form of renewable electricity generation worldwide.

  1. Vestas Wind Systems (VWDRY) – Wind Turbines

2022 Revenue: $16.7 billion
Headquarters: Aarhus N, Denmark
Main Renewable Technology: Onshore and offshore wind turbines

Vestas is the world’s leading manufacturer of wind turbines, having installed over 74 GW of wind capacity across 80 countries during its formidable history in the renewable energy arena. To put that into perspective, Vestas’ worldwide wind turbine fleet avoids producing over 220 million tons of CO2 per year—akin to erasing the entire carbon footprint of Spain.

Founded in 1945 and operating out of its wind turbine R&D hub in Denmark, Vestas has pioneered some of the most transformative innovations in technology, manufacturing and servicing to earn an unparalleled reputation for performance and sustainability. The company provides industry-leading wind turbines for diverse applications ranging from residential installations to scaled onshore and offshore wind farms.

Looking ahead, Vestas has its sights set on pioneering the first fully recyclable wind turbine and expanding offshore capabilities. The renewable leader will leverage its unmatched scale and experience in wind technology to help accelerate adoption of wind power as a mainstream electricity source across developing markets. As the world continues its urgent transition toward carbon neutrality, few companies are as poised as Vestas to sustain mass proliferation of renewable wind energy around the globe.

  1. Ørsted (DNNGY) – Offshore Wind and Bioenergy

2022 Revenue: $10.3 billion
Headquarters: Fredericia, Denmark
Main Renewable Technologies: Offshore wind, onshore wind and biomass energy

No company better represents the transformation to renewable energy than Ørsted. The Danish energy company, formerly known as Danish Oil and Natural Gas, has undertaken a monumental shift from fossil fuels to green energy within one generation of leadership. Today, Ørsted operates over a third of the world’s offshore wind power capacity and delivers enough renewable electricity to supply over 15 million people yearly.

Inaugural investments in offshore wind technology starting in the 1990s established Ørsted at the forefront of a burgeoning industry. Now the global leader, the company has committed over $30 billion to scale a worldwide offshore wind capacity to 30 GW by 2025. Ørsted also maintains onshore wind, solar PV and waste-to-energy biofacilities across Europe and North America, although offshore wind remains the crown jewel.

Named the world’s most sustainable energy company by some of the industry’s top ranking agencies, Ørsted aims to achieve carbon neutrality in its energy generation and operations by 2025. The company also leads by example in forging partnerships across corporate America and Europe’s heaviest emitters like steel and shipping to expand access to renewables.

  1. Iberdrola (IBDRY) – Wind Power

2022 Revenue: $46.2 billion
Headquarters: Bilbao, Spain
Main Renewable Technologies: Onshore wind, offshore wind and hydroelectric power

With over $140 billion invested in renewable energy and emissions reduction initiatives, Spanish utility giant Iberdrola manages one of the world‘s largest portfolios of wind farms and hydroelectric plants. Currently ranked as the leading producer of onshore wind power globally, Iberdrola operates over 1,770 renewable plants across Europe, North America and South America driving an energy capacity of nearly 36,000 megawatts – enough to power 25 million U.S. homes annually.

As a first mover in wind turbine technology starting in the 1990s, Iberdrola has amassed unparalleled experience operating industrial scale wind farms on land and offshore. The company’s assets include 800 onshore wind farms and offshore flagship projects in the North and Baltic Seas. Rounding out capacity with 350 dams and hydroelectric plants, Iberdrola delivered over 59,000 gigawatt-hours of 100% renewable electricity to customers last year.

Already preventing over 30 million tons of CO2 emissions annually, Iberdrola aims to double renewable energy production while eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from operations by 2030. The renewable leader is also pioneering large-scale green hydrogen facilities to supply clean fuel for hard-to-decarbonize industries. As nations work aggressively to transform energy infrastructure this decade, few titans like Iberdrola can match the capability to deploy utility-scale sustainable power sources.

  1. NextEra Energy (NEE) – Wind, Solar and Battery Storage

2022 Revenue: $17.5 billion
Headquarters: Juno Beach, Florida
Main Renewable Technologies: Onshore wind, utility-scale solar, battery storage

With nearly 50 GW of installed wind and solar capacity under operation or in development across dozens of American states and Canadian provinces, NextEra Energy generates more renewable electricity than any company in the world. The Florida-based clean energy giant single-handedly produces over 40% as much wind power across North America as the entire country of India. NextEra’s renewable plants altogether avoid over 70 million tons of CO2 emissions annually – equal to removing 15 million cars off the road.

Dubbed the “world’s most sustainable company” by Barron magazine, NextEra proved its climate commitments run deep by becoming the first U.S. investor-owned electric utility to establish a net-zero emissions target in 2021. But NextEra isn’t stopping there – between 2020 to 2024, the company plans to drop $55 billion to extend its industry-leading renewable generation portfolio while modernizing electricity infrastructure across Florida and other states.

NextEra stands in a class of its own when considering its financial strength and nearly limitless access to low-cost capital. As the transition toward sustainable power systems accelerates across electricity-hungry markets from Asia to North America, companies lean heavily on hefty balance sheets and investor confidence to turn commitments into gigawatts. With nearly a century of power industry expertise, NextEra Energy remains poised to bankroll and deploy clean energy projects of unprecedented size and influence for decades on end.

Thanks to the incredible innovation and investments made by companies like those listed above, enough renewable capacity now exists to fully transition global electricity production from dirty fossil fuels to clean alternatives immediately. Of course current infrastructure constraints prevent instantaneous decarbonization of the world’s power, however the important takeaway remains — solutions and corporate leadership to solve the climate crisis are already at hand.

Germany for example, despite stark seasonal intermittency, managed to generate over 50% of its electricity from sustainable sources in the first half of 2022 primarily via wind and solar power. Meanwhile, the U.S. state of Texas produces more wind energy annually than the entire country of India. Outpacing aggregate targets and projections, actual adoption of renewables is immense and indeed occurring at a breakneck pace.

With sustainable corporate titans like NextEra, Iberdrola and Ørsted bankrolling society’s energy transition, the feasible solutions to transform worldwide power grids rest firmly within reach.

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