Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS), the biggest wind-turbine maker, led gains among European peers as the U.S. Congress approved a law extending a tax credit for the industry.

Shares in Aarhus, Denmark-based Vestas surged as much as 13 percent, the most in five weeks, and were up 8.7 percent at 34.64 kroner as of 12:52 p.m. in Copenhagen. Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica SA (GAM) jumped as much as 7.8 percent, the most in four months, and Nordex SE (NDX1) rose 4.8 percent.

“It’s really good news for Vestas, because the American market and how it develops is extremely important,” Chief Marketing Officer Morten Albaek said today in a phone interview. “It’s a good way of starting the new year.”

U.S. wind installations in 2012 were set to top 12 gigawatts as developers rushed to complete projects before the scheduled Dec. 31 expiry of the tax credit, known as the PTC, the Energy Information Administration said Dec. 19 on its website. That would top the record 10 gigawatts from 2009, according to Bloomberg data.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance on Nov. 13 said installations may plunge to 1.5 gigawatts in 2013, absent an extension to the credit. Even with the extension, Vestas said in a statementtoday that the “late timing” of the announcement will lead to a “significant reduction” in 2013 installations relative to previous years.

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