Vestas, Gamesa Advance After U.S. Extends Wind-Power Tax Break

Source: By Alex Morales & Stefan Nicola, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS), the biggest wind-turbine maker, led gains among European peers as the U.S. Congress approved a law extending a tax credit for the industry.

Shares in Aarhus, Denmark-based Vestas surged as much as 13 percent, the most in five weeks, and were up 7.8 percent at 34.35 kroner as of 10:52 a.m. in Copenhagen. Nordex SE (NDX1) rose 3.3 percent and Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica SA (GAM) jumped 7.2 percent.

The U.S. House late yesterday passed a bill averting spending cuts and tax gains that had threatened an economic recovery. The law, already approved by the Senate, includes an extension of the Production Tax Credit, which pays wind-farm owners 2.2 cents for every kilowatt-hour of power they produce.

“Now we can continue to provide America with more clean, affordable, home-grown energy, and keep growing a new manufacturing sector that’s now making nearly 70 percent of our wind turbines in the U.S.,” Rob Gramlich, interim chief executive officer of the American Wind Energy Association, said today in an e-mailed statement.

The tax break was extended until the end of this year, a move that the AWEA said may save as many as 37,000 jobs.

Vestas had already started preparing its U.S. factories for a slowdown in production in 2013 as the expiry of the tax credit loomed on Dec. 31, and had forecast a decline in global shipments to 5 gigawatts this year from 6.3 gigawatts. Last month, it cut working hours at factories in Colorado.

Nordex, a Hamburg-based turbine developer, had no growth in U.S. orders last year and is unsure what the extension will mean for business, Ralf Peters, a company spokesman, said by telephone, citing competition from cheap shale gas.

“It remains to be seen in which direction the pendulum will swing in 2013,” Peters said. “What’s clear is that the tax-credit extension adds weight to wind.”