Suzlon is the world’s third largest wind power supplier with 9.8% of the global market. Founded in 1995, the company’s vertically integrated structure allows it to deliver complete wind power solutions to its customers while also managing the installation and maintenance of these turnkey solutions.
Headquarted in Pune, India, Suzlon has a presence across 32 countries, manufacturing on three continents, and world-class research and development centers in Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and India. Its installations account for over half of the wind power output in India, and its global clients include private and public sector companies, utilities and independent energy producers.
The Suzlon Group’s product portfolio is aimed at supplying wind energy to every type of customer, market and wind regime – ranging from sub-megawatt on-shore turbines at 600 kilowatts (KW), to the world’s largest wind turbine at 6.15 megawatts (MW), designed for offshore operations.
From the experience Suzlon gained in India, the company has taken steps to remain innovative and competitive in a difficult economic environment and to further the growth of the global renewable energy sector.
One example of this is Suzlon’s strategy of vertical integration. The company can control its own supply chains by founding or acquiring companies that manufacturer turbine components, such as leading gearbox manufacturer Hansen; forging and foundry company SE Forge; and German turbine manufacturer REpower, in which Suzlon has a controlling share.
Suzlon has a highly integrated approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ensures that its projects benefit the local community and operate in a socially responsible manner. It also supports the Suzlon Foundation, which works on infrastructure, medical, educational and other initiatives.
In 2009, Suzlon's founder and CEO, Tulsi Tanti, was named a Champion of the Earth for Entrepreneurial Vision by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
In India, Suzlon has been the market leader for 12 consecutive years with more than 5,500 MW installed capacity and new turbines coming online every day. The company is developing what will be the world’s largest wind farm, set to produce over 1,500 MW, in the western Indian state of Gujarat.
Suzlon was the first company in the wind energy industry to offer a complete range of services to its customers. These range from feasibility studies, complex front-end engineering design, construction, installation and commissioning to long-term operations and maintenance. This degree of integration enables Suzlon to provide turnkey solutions and allows individual investors to purchase Suzlon turbines – a first in the global wind market.
Wind power in China
Unlike most other global wind suppliers, Suzlon comes from the developing world, and is therefore more familiar with China’s general market and more adaptable to its local market. However, its products are more advanced than those from most Chinese suppliers.
Suzlon helps wind farm owners maximize profits. In China, it will focus on reducing its costs by improving its supply chain in order to offer a realistic price for Chinese customers while maintaining its international quality standards. It will also explore overseas sales opportunities and turn China into a global export base.
The Chinese government has set a 15% renewable energy target for 2020, and a substantial part of this is likely to be wind power. China will remain the largest wind energy market globally, but installation rates will slow.
With the gradual introduction of industry standards from the Chinese Government in the future, the focus of these installations will switch from quantity to quality, and Suzlon is in a strong position to take advantage of these changes.