World wants far fewer wind turbines this year
* MAKE Consulting estimates drop in orders
* Core European and Asian markets weak, Americas better
* Sees weaker installations in 2013
* Says recovery could begin in 2013
COPENHAGEN, July 26 (Reuters) - Global order intake for wind turbines fell by 30 percent in the first half of 2012 from a year earlier as core European and Asia-Pacific markets weakened but recovery could begin in 2013, MAKE Consulting said.
Wind turbine manufacturers have struggled in the global economic crisis which has hit investment in energy projects around the globe as budget-cutting governments have curbed subsidies for renewable power and financing has dried up.
Weak orders in the first half of 2012 point to a weaker 2013 in terms of turbine installations, which are seen falling by about 5 percent from the 2011 level, MAKE Consulting, a wind energy specialist, said in a summary of a research report.
"However, we expect that order flow could improve in 2013 and beyond," Copenhagen-based MAKE Consulting said.
The consultancy said it was tracking over 11 gigawatts (GW) of wind power capacity already outlined in framework agreements plus an additional 18 GW of possible capacity through conditional orders, providing scope for a recovery.
First-half turbine orders fell due largely to weakness in China, India, the UK and the German offshore market, MAKE said.
"Regulatory uncertainty, subsidy cuts and grid connectivity issues all contributed to the weakness and offset good growth in new emerging markets," it said.
The Americas held up well, driven by the U.S. market where wind power developers have tried to squeeze in projects before the expiry at the end of this year of the production tax credit (PTC) for renewable energy and high order activity in several Latin American markets, MAKE Consulting said.
German engineering conglomerate Siemens reported on Thursday a 66 percent drop from a year earlier in new third-quarter orders for its renewable energy business, which includes its wind and solar units.
Danish wind turbine maker Vestas has announced first-half orders for turbines with total capacity 1,973 megawatts, down from 2,895 MW in the first half of 2011.
But, in line with its normal practice, Vestas has yet to disclose smaller "unannounced" orders for the second quarter, which will come in its interim report on Aug. 22. In the second quarter last year, unannounced orders were 786 MW. (Reporting by John Acher, editing by William Hardy)
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