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United States

Q1 installations highlight slow US market

US: In a further sign US wind market doldrums are far from over, new data shows the industry only installed 539MW in the first quarter 2010.

The US had a record year for installations in 2009
The US had a record year for installations in 2009

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) calls it the lowest quarterly figure since 2007.

"Financing wind projects is an 18 month process and the struggles in 2009 to raise new capital, combined with lack of new demand from utilities, are now surfacing in the market and reflected in project installations, said Denise Bode, AWEA CEO.

First quarters in any given year tend to be lower because this is often the lowest point of seasonal construction.

Speaking about the figure Matt Kaplan, an analyst for Emerging Energy Research said it did pale against more than 3GW built in the first quarter of 2009. However, a first quarterly comparison between 2009 and 2010 is difficult because so many wind projects spilled over from 2008 into 2009,.

"As much as 4GW was meant to be installed in 2008 and spilled over into 2009. So that's one reason you have an awkward comparison between 2009 and 2010. But, the other reason is that it's also an example of the current landscape for wind development.

"Developers face difficult times securing power purchase agreements and are still coming out of financial difficulties and that's force a lot of developers to reduce their build plans," said Kaplan.

Last years figures painted a healthier picture. According to Windpower Monthly's Market Status report, the US had a record year again in 2009, with installed capacity rising nearly 40% on 2008.

 

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