In our on-shore wind value chain, the first step is Turbine Manufacturing, which we use as a catch-all term to describe the manufacturing processes that go into creating the primary components of a wind turbine. Wind turbines account for approximately 71% of the total cost of an on-shore wind power project as of 2015. As of 2016, the top three wind turbine manufacturers, measured by shares of cumulative installed capacity of the U.S. wind turbine fleet, are GE Renewable Energy, Vestas, and Siemens; these companies accounted for 79% of cumulative installed U.S. capacity. The current dominant wind turbine architecture has three blades that rotate on a horizontal-axis, faces upwind, and allows for variable speeds and pitch regulation. Ongoing developments in turbine technology include increased rotor blade diameter, tower hub height, and increasingly sophisticated software.
In some cases, existing research and data sources discuss turbines in aggregate, while others provide information on specific turbine system components, such as rotor blade, nacelle, and tower. When available, we provide information at the level of Rotor Blade, Nacelle, and Tower (see drop-down menu). Rotor Blade, Nacelle, and Tower are treated as separate sub-steps because their manufacture can occur concurrently, in separate facilities, and through the work of different firms (contrast with the sequential processes involved in PV Module Manufacturing under Utility-Scale PV).
Anatomy of a Wind Turbine
Source: Department of Energy: https://energy.gov/eere/wind/inside-wind-turbine-0
Select an information category (descriptive information, innovative outcomes, strategic conditions, knowledge conditions) using the tabs to the left or navigate to a turbine system component using the drop-down menu at the top of the page.