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China and U.S. Lead Global Wind Energy Growth In 2012

February 11, 2013

A record year for wind energy installations in the United States combined with a relaxing market in China lead to a virtual tie between the two countries for installations in 2012 according to a new report released today by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

China’s annual installations came in at 13.2 gigawatts (GW) during 2012 as the GWEC felt market consolidation and rationalization helped slow the market for wind energy. But the GWEC expects China to continue its dominance of the global wind markets.

The United States installed over 8 GW of wind energy in Q4 2012 due to the anticipated expiration of the U.S. Production Tax Credit at the end of December. Total installations for the year were 13.12 GW bringing the country to a virtual dead heat with China. GWEC believes that the U.S. market will slowdown in 2013.

While Germany and the U.K. led the European markets, Italy, Poland, Romania, and Sweden showed signs of becoming emerging global wind energy players as they developed 12.4 GW. But GWEC believes the European debt crisis will help slow down growth but 2020 renewable energy targets will ensure that the industry still pushes forward.

Wind energy growth remained slow in Latin America as Brazil lead the way with 1.077 GW and Australia was the only country in the Pacific region to install wind energy with a mere 358 megawatts of new capacity.

Overall the report has to be viewed as relatively good news for companies like Siemens (SI :NYSE) and GE (GE :NYSE), as GWEC reported overall cumulative global growth of nearly 10 percent. Considering that offshore wind development increased 41 percent in the U.K. in 2012 and saw gains in most of the countries who develop offshore wind energy, Siemens’ recently announced new offshore wind turbine should find an anxious market when it is produced in 2015.

Shares of Siemens were up 0.56 percent in afternoon trading.

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