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Wind power market faces tough 2013 – consultants

The wind turbine market faces a difficult 2013 even if a U.S. incentive scheme known as the Production Tax Credit (PTC) is extended beyond its end-2012 expiry date, Denmark-based MAKE Consulting said in a research note.

Uncertainty about whether the tax credit will be extended or replaced with something else has led to a rushed 2011 and 2012 wind farm building cycle, while new development plans for 2013 have plummeted, MAKE said.

“The wind industry will see precipitous drops in 2013 installations without a PTC,” MAKE said in an abstract of a note for paying customers entitled, “U.S. market eyes policy cliff”.

“But even if a PTC is extended, the market impact is likely to be muted due to more challenging macro-economic conditions – basic demand conditions remain weak and natural gas futures remain low,” it said. “Even with a PTC, 2013 will not be the boom market of PTC years past.”

MAKE Consulting said that an analysis of publically announced orders for projects to be completed in 2012 showed the top-tier turbine manufacturers solidifying their market shares.

MAKE’s annual ranking list published in March this year showed Danish wind turbine maker Vestas clinging to its world market leadership with a 12 percent share, ahead of China’s Sinovel in second place and U.S. industrial giant GE in third.

Turbine prices have eroded steadily since 2008, but aggressive sales tactics may not be sustainable, MAKE said.