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Energy firms find wind at their back

China's emphasis on wind energy is creating a new source of green for many American companies, as the country's wind capacity continues to advance with gale-force strength.

In recent years, China has blown past its own ambitious goals for wind energy development, making it the fourth-largest wind power producer, behind the US, Germany and Spain.

In 2007, the country's objective was to have enough wind plants built to generate 5 gigawatts (gW) of energy by 2010. By the end of 2008, it had already achieved 12.2 gW, and revised forecasts say that China could reach 150 gW by 2020.

"The rate at which China is scaling its wind industry supply and demand is unprecedented on a global level," said Caitlin Pollack, an analyst with Emerging Energy Research.

Wind energy-related products include designs, turbines, nacelles (housings for a turbine's inner workings), gearboxes, bearings and electrical equipment.

Since 2006, American Superconductor, of Devens, Massachusetts, has become a major supplier of both designs and electrical conduction components.

The company uses what it calls the "Gillette" business model, selling Chinese companies the "razor" (the design) with the stipulation that they also buy the "blades" (the electrical parts).

The strategy is largely responsible for the company's $73 million first-quarter profit, an increase of 85 percent over the same period in 2008, according to American Superconductor.

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 Source : China Daily  Editor: Ivy
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