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Wind industry gets by on consolidations  

Strain on the wind energy market in 2006 led to a record number of mergers and acquisitions among companies and more are expected in 2007.

Mergers and acquisitions in wind energy included all sectors from utilities to manufacturers to developers, according to a panel of investors at the 2007 Wind Power Finance and Investment Summit in San Diego.

The boom in the market driven by capital and temporary tax incentives along with increasing availability of joint venture money and tax equity is countered by the stress from large price increases in turbines as well as installation, said John Calway, chief development officer of Wind North America, which was acquired by Babcock and Brown.

The price of equipment going up will likely cause an increase in the cost of power as well, said Ted Brandt, chief executive officer and managing director of Marathon Capital.

But Leif Andersen, vice president of sales for Suzlon Wind Energy Corp. said he is optimistic the supply chain will balance out. Prices should go down he said, once there is a more stable political climate and the production and manufacturing process is more streamlined.

9 February 2007

United Press International

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