In spite of some wind projects being put on hold, wind is the alternative energy that is closest to being cost competitive without subsidies and the U.S. is now the world leader in wind electricity generation, says a Calvert portfolio manager.

"Some alternative energy projects around the world have hit the 'pause button' as a result of the tightening credit market, but the groundwork has been established for a very quick bounce back in clean energy in 2010," said Jens Peers, the lead portfolio manager for the Calvert Global Alternative Energy Fund (CGAEX) and Calvert Global Water Fund (CFWAX), and head of Eco Funds, KBC Asset Management International Ltd. of Dublin, Ireland.

Peers made the statements at a news briefing on Tuesday during which he and other Calvert managers said the White House agenda on climate change and a return of higher energy prices after the recession should benefit clean energy, water and infrastructure investments.

In addition to being the most cost competitive, wind is the most mature alternative energy subsector and has the most defensive characteristics of all the renewable-energy technologies, Peers says.

"Worldwide, new wind-farm installations already represent enough energy to power more than five million homes. Wind also had the highest revenues among alternative energy sectors, topping $30 billion last year," Peers adds. "Last year, the U.S. led the world in new wind-generation capacity.  The U.S. is now the world leader in wind electricity generation. While Germany still has more generating capacity installed (about 23,000 megawatts), the U.S. is producing more electricity from wind because of its much stronger winds."