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Wind energy industry weathers the storm

The second quarter of 2009 presented the expected slowdown in wind energy project activity as banks underwent stress tests, governments reshuffled budgets to deploy stimulus packages, and the industry adjusted capacity accordingly, says Emerging Energy Research’s (EER) Research Director Keith Hays.

While wind turbine orders and project financing announcements declined, the increasingly long-term vision of the wind industry’s place in the energy mix has lead to growth in newer markets, a more assertive role played by China and solidifying US policy.

EER says the slowdown in the “frenetic development” of onshore markets in Western Europe and the USA has been balanced out by established wind energy developers moving ahead with plans in areas such as Romania, Ontario and offshore wind energy projects.

At the same time, China’s own wind turbine industry is expanding onto the world stage with an eye on entering the US market.

The US market, which has been hard hit by the economic crisis, is seeing work on the implementation of an effective stimulus bill to support growth amidst what EER calls “a major drop-off in orders for OEMs”.

EER believes the underlying drivers for wind energy have not been derailed despite the financial crisis as the leading wind plant owners continue to show steady pipeline investments, but warns that the “wind industry is inevitably experiencing a shakeout and a correction of the market’s structure, and the next two quarters are likely to solidify the near-term competitive landscape.”

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