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With the rapid growth in the renewable energy sector in the past few years many companies have emerged in this sector to gain the advantages of the first comers and to maintain a strong position in the market. Renewable energy industry has a very bright and wealthy future; that is why more and more companies are joining this race. Some have already earned fame and others have competitive advantage over others. Now, at the start of 2011, it may be very difficult for a new entrant to enter, establish and maintain a respectable position in this sector.

Lists of Today’s Top Renewable Energy Companies:

Photon International issued a report about the top 10 producers of PV for 2009 by comparing the actual production of the companies. In 2009, the total global production capacity from the PV was more than 12.5 GW. Here is a list of the top 10 Solar PV manufacturers for 2009 ranked according to their actual production:

  1. First Solar -- 1100.0 MW
  2. Suntech --704.0 MW
  3. Sharp --595.0 MW
  4. Q-Cells --586.0 MW
  5. Yingli -- 525.3 MW
  6. JA Solar --520.0 MW
  7. Kyocera --400.0 MW
  8. Trina Solar -- 399.0 MW
  9. SunPower -- 397.0 MW
  10. Gintech --368.0 MW

The global production had a share of 16.8 percent of thin films in 2009 which rose from the figure of 12.5 percent in 2008. The list of the top ten thin film producers in 2009 is following (the tenth position is tied):

  1. First Solar --1100.0 MW
  2. United Solar Ovonic --123.4 MW
  3. Sharp --94.0 MW
  4. Sunfilm1 -- 60.0 MW
  5. Trony -- 50.0 MW
  6. Solar Frontier -- 43.0 MW
  7. Mitsubishi --42.0 MW
  8. Kaneka --40.0 MW
  9. Moser Baer --40.0 MW
  10. Würth Solar --30.0 MW
  11. Bosch (formerly Ersol) --30.0 MW
  12. EPV --30.0 MW
  13. Solyndra --30.0 MW

Wind turbine manufacturers have also established their place in the global market. The top 10 wind turbine manufacturers by comparison of annual market share in 2009 are:

  1. Vestas (Denmark) --12.5%
  2. GE Wind Energy (United States) --12.4%
  3. Sinovel (China) --9.2%
  4. Enercon (Germany) --8.5%
  5. Goldwind (China) --7.2%
  6. Gamesa (Spain) --6.7%
  7. Dongfang Electric (China) -- 6.5%
  8. Suzlon (India) --6.4%
  9. Siemens Wind Power (Denmark / Germany) --5.9%
  10. REpower (Germany) --3.4%

Company Information:

First Solar:

First Solar was founded in the year 1999 as First Solar Holdings, LLC. The company’s headquarters are in Tempe, Arizona, U.S. The name of the Chief Executive Officer of the company is Robert J. Gillette and the Chairman of the Supervisory Board is Michael J. Ahearn. The revenue generated by First Solar in the Financial Year 2009 was US$ 2.07 billion. The total assets which the company held at the end of 2009 were equivalent to US$ 3.35 billion. The amount of capital (money) invested is US$ 2.65 billion. By 2010 the company has 4,700 employees.

First Solar is the leading Solar PV manufacturer and thin film producer in the world. The thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules manufactured by First Solar provide electricity at a cheaper rate than other modules. This is where the company has a competitive advantage over others in the industry. The PV modules are more economical and productive in a wide range of climatic conditions. This has been achieved by the use of cadmium telluride (CdTe) instead of crystalline silicon which is more commonly used in the technology. With continuous efforts First Solar has brought down the manufacturing costs of the module below $1 per watt. It was the first company which crossed the $1 per watt threshold.

The first energy company to be listed on the S&P 500 was First Solar. It was ranked 7th in Fortune’s 2010 ranking of the 100 Fastest Growing Companies in 2010. In the same year, it stood at number 6 in Fast Company’s ranking of the World’s 50 most innovative companies.

Vestas Wind Systems:

Vestas Wind Systems is a publicly traded company which was founded back in 1945. As the concept of getting energy from the wind was implemented long before than harnessing energy from the Sun, so this type of companies emerged before other companies like First Solar. Peder Hansen founded Vestas Wind Systems. It is a Danish company with headquarters in Randers, Denmark. Ditlev Engel is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Vestas Wind Systems and Bent Erik Carlsen is the Chairman. The revenue of the company in 2009 was €6.636 billion and the profit for the same year was €579 million. The company had 20,730 employees by the end of 2009.

Vestas Wind Systems is currently the largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world. Due to rapid growth of its competitors like GE Wind Energy, Sinovel, etc the company’s market share has been snatched. It has declined from 28% in 2007 to 12.5% in 2009. The company not only manufactures but also sells, installs and services wind turbines all over the world. It operates in Denmark, Germany, India, Italy, Britain, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Australia, China, and the United States.

In 2006, Vestas Wind Systems was voted as the Top Green Company. The company expanded its operations in Colorado in 2008 and also in Portland, Oregon in August 2010. While in October 2010, it closed its factories in Scandinavia. The trends of expansion and downsizing are the noteworthy. The recent business strategy of the company has emphasized expansion in China and the US because these markets are growing at a faster rate than in the UK.