Germany's Siemens aims to build on its leading position in offshore wind turbines to become the world's third-biggest supplier to the wind industry overall by 2012, a senior executive said.

Rene Umlauft, chief executive of Siemens' Renewable Energy Division, told Reuters in an interview on Thursday that Siemens sees big potential for growth of wind energy in the United States, China and other markets such as Brazil.

Our target is to become No. 3 in 2012, Umlauft said.

Siemens is now sixth biggest in the world, behind Denmark's Vestas, General Electric Co., Spain's Gamesa, Germany's Enercon and India's Suzlon.

Umlauft said Siemens sees some signs of the wind turbine market picking up onshore after a lull and added that the credit crunch, which affected clients, appeared to be easing.

The difficulties our customers had in the past with financing, getting credit, is not over yet, but things are getting better, he said, noting the first payouts of aid for wind power under a plan by U.S. President Barack Obama.

Wind power developments and other energy projects around the globe have been hit by the financial crisis.

The market is slowly coming back, he said at the opening of the world's biggest offshore wind park, Denmark's Horns Rev 2, for which Siemens has supplied 91 turbines.

We see a lot of enquiries (from potential clients), he said.

Umlauft said that if the world moves ahead with plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020, then renewable energy, including wind and solar, will get a boost.

Denmark will host a U.N. conference in December where world leaders aim to agree on a new climate pact to succeed the emissions provisions of the Kyoto Protocol from 2012.

It will have a big positive impact -- don't ask me now about megawatts because we don't know the numbers.

From my point of view, the United States will be one of the biggest markets (for wind energy equipment) in the future, he said...China will be an interesting market, he said.

Offshore wind is taking strides in Europe.

Germany's government on Wednesday adopted a plan to speed up construction of offshore wind parks in the North Sea, aiming for 25,000 megawatts of capacity on stream by 2030.

(For a story on Denmark's inauguration of the world's biggest offshore wind park, double click on.