Sunday 12 April 2009

GE, Vestas Lead U.S. Wind Turbine Sales, Taking 56% of Market

April 12 (Bloomberg) -- General Electric Co. and Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world’s two largest suppliers of wind turbines, sold a record 4,648 megawatts in the U.S. last year, taking 56 percent of the total market, an industry group said.

Installations rose 58 percent to 8,300 megawatts. Wind turbines accounted for 42 percent of all new generating capacity in the U.S., almost matching the additions of natural gas fueled plants, the Washington-based American Wind Energy Association said today in a statement.

Juno, Florida-based FPL Group Inc.’s NextEra Energy Resources ranked first among companies that install wind turbines, with 25 percent of U.S. generation totaling 25,300 megawatts, enough to power 7 million homes, the group said. That’s about 2.5 percent of total U.S. power supply. The U.S. leads the world in wind-power capacity.

Texas and Iowa have the most wind generation, followed by California and Minnesota. Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy Inc. leads regulated utilities in wind-power production. Minnesota leads the nation in the share of power coming from wind at 7.5 percent.

President Barack Obama set a goal of doubling U.S. renewable energy over three years. Wind turbines are typically the cheapest source of renewable energy.

Employment in the wind industry rose 70 percent from a year ago to 85,000, the trade association said.

GE, based in Fairfield, Connecticut, retained the lead in largest number of wind turbines installed, with a 43 percent market share, the group said. Randers, Denmark-based Vestas had 13 percent, followed by Siemens AG and Suzlon Energy Ltd. with 9 percent each.

Developers were taking advantage of federal and state incentives to encourage renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Installations this year have stalled as a credit crisis dried up financing, the wind association said.

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