LATIN AMERICAN WINDS
Siemens Turns Sights On Latin America For Wind Turbines
Laurence Iliff, November 20, 2009 (Dow Jones Newswires via Wall Street Journal)
"Siemens AG…is moving into the Latin American market for wind-energy turbines - beginning in Mexico - as it seeks a place among the world's top suppliers for wind-driven renewable energy…
"Latin America has little installed wind-energy capacity even as global growth in the sector hit 30% a year at the start of the decade before slowing to 24% from 2004 to 2007…It has slowed further in recent years due to the debt crisis…[T]op wind turbine manufacturers see a recovery around the corner and an eventual boom, as governments provide incentives to meet international commitments for clean, renewable energy."
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"Currently, Siemens wind turbines have a global installed capacity of 9,600 megawatts, with about two-thirds of that in Europe and the rest in the U.S., Canada and elsewhere…[making it] fifth or sixth in the world for wind turbine manufacturers…Unlike its competitors…Siemens isn't making its Mexico debut in windy Oaxaca state…[It] will install 70 of its new 2.3-megawatt turbines [worth $270 million]…with the private Mexican energy producer Grupo Soluciones en Energias Renovables SOE, or GSEER-SOE… [at] the Los Vergeles wind farm [along the Gulf Coast] in the Mexico-Texas border state of Tamaulipas…scheduled [to open] this month…
"…[P]roximity to the Gulf offers wind speed of about eight meters per second, allowing the turbines to operate around 40% of capacity…less than Oaxaca, but [adequate]…[GSEER-SOE and Siemens have] an agreement with the 43 municipalities in Tamaulipas to provide energy for government installations such as schools and hospitals…Before deciding on Siemens, [GSEER-SOE] did a series of studies on how wind turbines from the biggest global companies would perform as part of the project…Siemens' size and financial stability…helped…GSEER-SOE to obtain financing."
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"…Mexico had just 88 megawatts of installed wind-energy capacity in 2008 but will have another 300 megawatts this year…[and] could develop up to 3,800 megawatts of capacity by 2014…[though the] wind energy market…is going through a tough time due mostly to financing issues…The financial statements of two wind turbine giants shows global suppliers are facing a mixed bag of demand…Denmark's Vestas reported an 11% [third quarter 2009] increase in turbine sales…Spain's Gamesa reported a 16% fall…
"Siemens Wind Power Americas…is preparing for an upcoming energy auction in Brazil to assign several wind projects…[and studying the market in] Chile…[with Mexico, those nations] make up the "economic engines" of Latin America…and Siemens is betting that its wind turbines will be increasingly fueling them."