DOE to fund wind power initiatives
Energy Secretary Steven Chu promises attendees at AWEA Windpower Conference that the government is serious about backing developments and deployment.
In remarks sent via video to the attendees of the AWEA (American Wind Energy Assn.) Windpower Conference in Chicago, U.S. Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, reinforced the importance of wind generating technology in the larger movement toward renewable energy. He reminded the audience that the U.S. leads the world in wind energy production, and has also led in new installations over the last four years. Moreover, he cited a study released in 2008 by the U.S. Dept. of Energy suggesting the feasibility of 20% of our energy from wind generation alone by 2030.
To help make that goal a reality, he also announced a group of specific programs that have received federal funding, including:
• A $60 billion loan guarantee program through the DOE "to help these projects get off the ground."
• An $11 billion investment in new transmission lines and smart grid improvements "to move clean energy from places where it is produced to places where it will be used."
• $93 million for wind engineering through the recovery act, comprising:
o $45 million competitive solicitation for a wind turbine drive train testing facility;
o $24 million competitive solicitation for university wind energy R&D with industry partnerships; and
o $14 million to supplement a recently completed DOE solicitation for work to advance wind technology and testing in the private sector.
• Awards of funding selections totaling $8.5 million "across more than 50 grant applications from industry, many of whom are in the audience today. This funding is focused on distributed wind market acceptance, and workforce development. It will provide jobs now while continuing to drive development within the industry."