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Shifts in the Wind Industry Uncover Opportunities

Experienced manufacturers help a new industry mature.

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The emergence of wind as a potential fuel source has created an array of ways for investors to participate in the industry. While wind energy is still far from being economic, government intervention has helped it to compete against more-conventional sources of power.

The battle lines are beginning to form in the United States, with major turbine manufacturers turning their attention to the wide open space in the Midwest known as the wind corridor. As industry leader Vestas is shutting down European plants and laying off workers, it is building plants in the U.S. to compete directly with  General Electric (GE), which holds a dominant position on its home turf.  Siemens (SI) has also announced plans to build a factory in Kansas in order to locate itself where growth appears to be the most promising. This repositioning of manufacturing of assets is heavily based on reducing the cost of getting the turbine parts to the wind farm location as transportation costs are a major component of the installed cost.

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Daniel Holland does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.