They're betting that the U.S. will pass a law that requires utilities in every state to buy electricity from renewable resources.

State support helped new wind farms match natural-gas plant additions over the past two years even as gas prices sank 59 percent. Absent a federal mandate, wind turbine factories, touted as job creators by President Barack Obama, may sit idle.

"New orders depend a lot on what goes on in Washington over the next 60 days," Steve Dayney, chief executive officer of Repower Systems AG's U.S. unit, said in an interview. Repower, which is 91 percent owned by India's Suzlon, manufactures most of its large components for the U.S. market domestically, he said.

"Right now, there's a lot of uncertainty in the U.S."

With the first annual decline in U.S. electricity demand in 50 years, and with natural-gas prices down 25 percent this year to about $4.20 per million British thermal units, utilities and state regulators are reluctant to spend more for wind power.

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