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Alternative energy methods drive need for planetary gearboxes

The move towards alternative energy forms, including wind energy, will boost the markets for planetary gearboxes in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and the Americas. By 2009, this market will experience annual growth of 8%, reaching $1.812 million and $459 million, respectively. Growth is being driven by an increasing demand within the wind energy sector for high torque planetary gearboxes used in wind turbines.

The energy sector accounted for more than 40% of the total EMEA planetary gearbox market, and more than 25% of the Americas planetary market in 2005. EMEA has been steadily building up a large installed wind turbine capacity for more than 20 years. An increasing international demand for oil and rising energy costs has spurred the Americas into comparable levels of investment.

According to market analyst Rob Carter, “Continued financial incentives provided by the 2001 EU Directive on the promotion of electricity from renewable energy sources for Europe, and America's wind energy production tax credit, will encourage further investment in the wind energy sector over the next few years as these regions strive to meet green energy targets. This is expected to result in the high-torque planetary gearbox market growing annually by around 10% in both regions.”

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