General Electric Co. was a leader provider of wind turbines to such energy market in 2008 in the United States with a big margin, followed by Vestas Wind Systems, Siemens and Suzlon and Gamesa far behind, the American Wind Energy Association reported.

GE Energy installed as much as 43 percent of the total turbines for new wind power capacity last year while Vestas just accounted for 13 percent, selling a record of 4,648 megawatts both. Siemens and Suzlon accounted for only 9 percent each and Gamesa for 7 percent.

In total, installations of wind energy increased 58 percent to 8,300 megawatts in 2008 compared to the previous year. Wind turbines contributed 42 percent to the new energy generating capacity across the nation, the AWEA said on a statement Monday.

We need the right policies in place for our industry to maintain its momentum. A national Renewable Electricity Standard, requiring utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025, is vital to provide the long-term, U.S.-wide commitment businesses need to invest tens of billions of dollars in clean energy installations and manufacturing facilities, and create hundreds of thousands of American jobs, Denise Bode, AWEA CEO said on a statement.

The wind industry had also a direct impact on jobs, increasing 70 percent from 50,000 employees a year ago to 85,000 people, the association said. Jobs included manufacturing, construction and wind turbines' installation, operation and maintenance, as well as legal and marketing services.

Another company highlighted in the report was NextEra Energy Resources which was the top in wind farm ownership with 6,290 MW of wind power assets, roughly 25 percent of the total installed in the country during 2008. Iberdrola Renewables, MidAmerican Energy and Horizon-Energia de Portugal accounted for the next 25 percent of the wind projects installed.