In 2009, Vestas was the largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world and third largest in the U.S., after GE Wind (NYSE:GE) and Siemens (SI).
After a record breaking year for the U.S. wind industry in 2009, this year was always going to be a challenge and, sure enough, most wind energy-related stocks have struggled so far in 2010. The chart below shows Year-To-Date stock price performance of representative wind companies: American Superconductor (NASDAQ:AMSC), A-Power Energy Generation Systems (NASDAQ:APWR), Trinity Industries (NYSE:TRN), Vestas Wind and Zoltek (NASDAQ:ZOLT). For a more complete review of wind-related companies, read Opportunities in the Wind Energy Value Chain.
The wind sector underperformance can be traced directly to the weakness in the U.S. economy (the largest world market for wind in 2009) to which most companies in the chart above have a high exposure, and the ongoing lack of a U.S. energy policy. Companies and investors have been understandably hesitant to commit the capital costs for new projects and installations in such an uncertain environment.
If nothing else, the recent announcements indicate the U.S. wind market is not dead, and they might even mark a turnaround point for the wind industry.
Disclosure: No positions