The growing influence China and India wield over the global wind energy sector has been underlined after new research suggested both countries are fast closing the capacity gap on more established markets such as Germany and the US.

The study from the Global Wind Energy Council confirmed that at the end of 2007 Germany continued to hold the top spot with 22.3GW of installed capacity compared to 16.8GW in the US and 15.1GW in Spain.

However, India with 7.8GW and China with 5.9GW made up the top five and both reported rapid growth with India installing an extra 1.5GW of capacity and China taking the title of fastest growing market, achieving 145 per cent growth over the course of the year.

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The report, which was released late last week, predicted that with China now boasting the world’s largest turbine manufacturing sector through companies such as Goldwind, Sinovel Wind, Dongfang, the country is on track to take Germany’s title of largest wind energy generator as early as 2009.

It also claimed that the rapid expansion of the wind energy sector in emerging economies meant that wind could generate up to 12 per cent of the world’s power by 2020 – saving 10 billion tonnes of carbon in the process – and represent almost a third of the global energy mix by 2050.

Meanwhile, reports have emerged this week that Indian turbine maker Suzlon Energy is to undertake a share issue to finance the acquisition of an extra 22 per cent stake in Germany’s REpower Systems.

The company already holds a 66 per cent stake in REpower Systems, but according to India’s Business Standard is committed to bolstering its stake and is in talks with a number of private equity firms about raising the required funds through a share sale.

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