Architectural design firm Dynamic Architecture is determined to build one of the most innovative skyscrapers ever conceived. The vision entails an 80-story skyscraper with individual apartments on each floor that can rotate 360 degrees on an axis offering a full panoramic view of the buildings surroundings in Dubai. The design incorporates horizontally mounted wind turbines between each floor. The 79 turbines are expected to generate enough power for the entire building. Currently only a handful of publicly traded companies in the U.S. make wind turbines for investors to choose from for their wind energy investment.
Germany's Siemens (NYSE:SI) offers on-shore and off-shore wind generation capabilities. With more than 6,000 installations, Siemens reputation in wind power generation is solid. In the past six months just within the U.S., Siemens received large wind turbine orders with a combined value of more than $2.4 billion from FPL Energy (NYSE:FPL) of Florida, Portland General Electric (NYSE:POR) of Oregon and two wind farms in Washington.
To keep pace with new orders Siemens is having to expanding existing and create new facilities in the U.S., leading to the creation of "green collar" jobs. Siemens is also conducting a two-year study on direct drive (DD) technology on a test turbine in Denmark. The DD technology is meant to cut down on maintenance cost of its existing turbines with gearboxes. (Whether you want funds or stocks, find out how to evaluate planet-friendly portfolio picks in Evaluating Green Equity Investments.)
General Electric (NYSE:GE) is the world largest wind turbine maker, with more than 8,000 installations. GE offers an array of wind turbines ideally suited for locations short on space as wells as larger turbines for offshore farms with rotor diameters of 341 feet.
At the beginning of this year American Wind Energy Association noted that GE turbines were responsible for nearly half of the 5 gigawatts of new wind energy capacity brought on line in the U.S. in 2007. Demand for GE's turbines has placed pressure on its wind-blade-components suppliers who are also being driven to expand production creating additional work for new hires.
Wind Power Diversification Made Easy
For instant diversification investors could also perform due diligence on the First Trust Global Wind Energy EFT (AMEX:FAN). The exchange-traded fund debuted in June and tracks the International Securities Exchange Global Wind Energy Index. The index is composed of companies in multiple countries including Germany, Spain and Denmark directly or partially related to generating wind energy.
Wind power is growing in popularity with utilities, builders and investors. It is a renewable energy source that continues to become a larger component of meeting global energy demand with the added benefit of adding jobs to the workforce. The choices for investment in the U.S. are few, but the opportunity wind power presents is undeniable.
For further reading, and to put a little green in you wallet, read our related article Top 10 Green Industries.