Written by Tom Gill Updated on 9 November 2023 ✔ Gansu Wind Farm, in China, is the world’s largest wind farm ✔ Wind power currently makes up 7.3% of the world’s electricity generation✔ The UK has seven of the top ten largest offshore wind farmsAs the world moves away from fossil fuels, renewable energy sources, such as wind power, are becoming more important with each passing year.This transition is encouraging countries to invest heavily in the creation of large-scale wind farms, which can provide vast amounts of clean energy without polluting the atmosphere.We’ve looked into the largest of these wind farms, covering how much power they can generate, how many turbines there have, future expansion possibilities, and the state of the existing turbines. What's on this page? 01 The world’s wind farms 02 Summary 03 FAQs The world’s wind farmsWind power is one of the most abundant renewable energy sources in the world, and its capacity to provide electricity is only increasing. As of 2023, wind power accounts for an impressive 7.33% of all electricity generation globally (Statista, 2022). It was just 1.64% in 2010.As well as small domestic wind turbines, the overwhelming majority of wind-generated electricity comes from large-scale wind farms (wind energy projects that produce more than one megawatt (MW). This is typically in the form of onshore wind farms, which account for 93% of installed wind capacity, compared to just 7% for offshore installations (IEA, 2023).Here are the largest wind farms in the world:Forsen Vind – NorwayNorway is well-known for its gas and oil supplies, but it’s also using the huge profits gained from fossil fuels to invest in renewable energy – particularly wind.The largest renewable investment, by far, is the Forsen Vind wind farm, an onshore installation, located in central Norway. The project, which started in 2016, cost £945 million (€1.1 billion) to set up, and is the second-biggest wind farm of its kind in Europe.Once Forsen Vind began operating, it more than doubled Norway’s wind power generation capacity. A total of 278 turbines provide 1.05 gigawatts (GW) of clean electricity, or 3,400 gigawatt hours (GWh) a year – enough to power close to 800,000 homes in the country.In comparison, the third- and fourth-largest onshore wind farms in Europe, in Romania and the UK, have capacities of 0.6 GW and 0.53 GW, respectively. Muppandal Wind Farm – IndiaIndia has made huge strides in its drive towards renewable energy over the last decade, with the world’s fourth-highest capacity for clean electricity – a total of 163 GW, as of 2022.Roughly 43 GW of this green energy comes from wind (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Indian Government, 2023) power, which is also the fourth-largest installed wind-power capacity in the world.The Muppandal Wind Farm is India’s second-largest wind power installation, with a current capacity of 1.5 GW. Located in the state of Tamil Nadu, Muppandal is perfectly placed to benefit from the high-pressure winds coming in from the Western Ghats mountain range nearby.Despite the high capacity, Muppandal is currently caught in a crossroads, as many of its turbines are running well past their expected life cycle. The earliest machines go all the way back to 1986, meaning they’ve operated for almost 37 years.For context, most wind turbines are designed to operate for 20–25 before being replaced.Alta Wind Energy Center – United StatesThe US has an impressive renewable energy portfolio, with a combined capacity of 352 GW, giving the US the second-largest renewable energy capacity worldwide.It’s a powerhouse in terms of wind power too – and the Alta Wind Energy Center in California is the perfect example of why.With a capacity of 1.55 GW, the Alta Wind Energy Center is the third-largest onshore wind energy project in the world. This power is generated by 600 turbines, which were provided by GE Renewable Energy, one of the biggest global wind turbine manufacturers.The wind farm cost an eye-watering £2.4 billion ($3 billion) to build, but its aim to reduce carbon dioxide emission by 5.2 million tonnes each year (Terra Gen Power, 2010) is worth every cent. For context, that’s roughly the annual CO2 emissions of over 365,000 Americans.Additionally, the Alta Wind Energy Center is expected to increase its installed capacity to over 3 GW within the next decade.Jaisalmer Wind Park – IndiaJaisalmer Wind Park is India’s largest wind farm, with 1.6 GW of installed capacity. It consists of several types of wind turbines, with some having capacities of just 350 kilowatts (kW), all the way up to 2.1 megawatts (MW).The wind farm is well placed in Rajasthan, which is one of India’s windiest states. Naturally, this makes it an ideal host for wind power facilities, which is why 5.1 GW of install capacity is currently homed here.Jaisalmer also benefits from being much newer than Muppandal, the second-largest wind farm in India. The project started in 2001, and has a larger portfolio of more advanced turbines capable of outputting more power.Markbygden Wind Farm – SwedenSweden’s Markbygden Wind Farm is Europe’s largest individual wind farm and the second-largest in the entire world, providing a monumental 2 GW of wind power capacity (enough to power almost 1.5 million UK homes).Markbygden is spread over an area of roughly 173 square miles, which is larger than the entire landscape used by Stockholm city.The farm’s capacity is set to increase to 4 GW by 2025 (Recharge News, 2021), which means it will be able to power three million Swedish homes.This project is a big part of Sweden’s drive to reach 100% renewable energy generation by 2040 – an ambition the country is already well on its way to achieving. In 2021, 68% of all heating and electricity came from renewable sources.Hornsea Offshore Wind Farm – United KingdomThe UK tops the leaderboard when it comes to offshore wind farms, hosting seven of the top ten largest installations in the world.Its most impressive offshore wind farm is located in Hornsea, Yorkshire, which has a combined capacity of 2.6 GW (Hornsea Projects, 2022) and powers over two million UK homes.Split into two projects, Hornsea uses some of the latest and best wind turbine technologies to generate vast amounts of clean electricity, with the average power output of each turbine being 8 MW (the average for onshore wind turbines is 2.5 MW).All this power requires a vast amount of space, which means the farm covers over 300 square miles – that’s more than ten times the size of the city of Hull.It’s just the beginning for Hornsea as well, which first started generating power in 2014. Two more phases, labelled Hornsea Three and Hornsea Four, will expand the total capacity to around 6 GW – enough to power 4.5 million homes.Gansu Wind Farm – ChinaChina is the global leader when it comes to large-scale renewable energy projects, with the country boasting the largest solar farm in the world. So it should come as no surprise that China also boasts the largest wind farm on the planet – the monumentally huge Gansu Wind Farm.Its capacity of 7.96 GW means it dwarfs the competition, and it’s already been penned in to increase up to 20 GW by 2025. That’ll give Gansu Wind Farm the ability to power a mindblowing 15 million homes.The wind farm’s location in the Gobi Desert gives it exposure to extremely high wind speeds – hurricane-force gusts of 75 mph (or more) cover the region every 15 to 20 days.Despite these near-perfect conditions, Gansu Wind Farm is not without its limitations. Being in the Gobi Desert might mean access to high wind volumes, but it also means being located very far away from China’s busy urban environments.Inadequate long-distance power transmission means a lot of the energy generated gets wasted when it's transported to faraway towns and cities.China might have the world’s largest renewable energy capacity at 1,161 GW, but it remains the world’s highest carbon emitter too, producing almost 30% of the planet’s human-made emissions. SummaryWind power capacity is continuing to increase globally, and as more countries make the switch to renewable energy, large scale wind farms will play a big part.Not only are they more cost-effective than new coal and gas power plants, but they also provide plenty of job opportunities.Wind is also a hugely popular renewable energy choice here in the UK, as our National Home Energy Survey revealed – one in two Brits would happily live near an onshore wind farm. FAQs Where are the biggest offshore wind farms in the world? The UK has the world’s largest offshore wind farms, largely thanks to the substantial amounts of wind available in coastal areas of the country, but also geographical factors.Simply put, it’s easier to build offshore wind farms around the UK because of the shallow seas and ample access to the coastline. Which country produces the most wind power? China takes pole position for wind power globally, having a breathtaking wind power capacity of 329 GW. That’s enough power to meet the entire electricity demand of the UK seven times over, but still not enough to meet the demands of China’s huge population.To be clear this is China’s capacity for wind power, not how much it actually produces, which is closer to 282 GW.Per capita, Sweden produces the most wind power – 110 MW for every 100,000 people. How many wind turbines does the UK have? The UK has over 11,000 wind turbines, with a combined capacity of roughly 28 GW, split evenly between onshore and offshore wind farms. This gives the UK the sixth-largest wind power capacity in the world.Geographically, the UK is the best location for wind power in Europe, and one of the best globally. It has the third-highest baseline average for ‘windiness’ in Europe, with only the North Sea and Baltic Sea being above this.And those are oceans, so not counting them means the UK is firmly at the top of windiest countries in Europe. Written by: Tom Gill Writer Tom joined The Eco Experts over a year ago and has since covered the carbon footprint of the Roman Empire, profiled the world’s largest solar farms, and investigated what a 100% renewable UK would look like. Tom has a particular interest in the global energy market and how it works, including the ongoing semiconductor shortage, the future of hydrogen, and Cornwall's growing lithium industry.