U.S. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Garman addressed the WINDPOWER 2002 conference today, highlighting President Bush’s national energy policy and focusing on wind energy policy and research.PORTLAND, Oregon – June 6, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] WINDPOWER 2002, the annual conference and exhibition of the U.S. wind energy industry, is co-sponsored by the American Wind Energy Association and the U.S. Department of Energy. “Our investments in wind energy so far are paying off,” said Garman. “Thanks to the hard work of many of you at this conference and research and development efforts of the Energy Department’s Wind Power Program, together we have lowered the cost of wind energy from approximately 80 cents per kilowatt-hour in current dollars in 1980 to as little as 4 cents per kilowatt-hour today.” In order to make wind energy more competitive in the near term, the Bush administration has called for a five-year extension of the production tax credit and for the reauthorization of the Renewable Energy Production Incentive. Both measures are included in energy legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. In order to bring wind energy resources to marketplace, the Department of Energy is working on a number of efforts that include: research and development of lower speed wind turbines; addressing many of the regulatory issues at the federal level that might hinder deployment of wind power; educating state energy officials and local developers about the benefits of wind energy; and increasing the federal government’s purchases of wind generated electricity to hasten the development of the market. The mission of the Energy Department’s Wind Energy Program is to enable the U.S. wind energy industry to complete the research, testing and field verification needed to develop advanced wind energy technologies.