This Danish wind-energy company, the largest in the world, installs a wind turbine every four hours. And once they're installed, the turbines are a dream: They generate energy for little money, without creating greenhouse gases, pollution or waste.
Vestas serves an estimated 45 million people in 63 countries. In Denmark, wind energy already accounts for 20 percent of the country's total energy consumption (compared with 1.3 percent worldwide) -- and on windy days, its 5,000 wind turbines supply all of the electricity.
The potential for growth is significant. Vestas' ambitious expansion plan calls for wind energy use worldwide to reach the consumption level of its home country. In the U.S., the company has already created more than 1,200 jobs as part of a rapid expansion that includes a newly-opened manufacturing facility in Colorado and plans for three more factories in the state. By 2011, Vestas expects it will have created 4,000 jobs in the U.S., many of them in dying prairie towns.
Rate at which Vestas installs wind turbines: Every four hours
Growth since 1983 of its turbines' capacity: 100-fold (30 kilowatts to 3 megawatts)
Pounds of CO2 each turbine saves per year, versus coal: 125,400
Number of countries with Vestas turbines: 63
Total annual output, in megawatt hours: 60 million
Potential population served: 45 million
Length of turbine blade displayed at 2008 Democratic Convention, in feet: 131
Number of Vestas factories in Colorado by 2010: 4
Vestas's 2007 revenue, in euros: 4.8 billion ($6.2 billion)
Projected 2008 revenue, in euros: 5.7 billion
Projected 2009 revenue, in euros: 7.2 billion
Percentage of world energy need currently met by wind: 1.3
Percentage of energy need met by wind in Denmark (Vestas HQ): 20
Megawatts of installed wind required to meet 10% of world demand by 2020: 1 million
Annual growth rate Vestas must achieve to meet that demand: 20%
Vestas's recent annual growth rate: 29%
Global rank among wind companies: 1