DOE to Invest US $6M to Reach 20% Wind Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for up to US $6 million over two years (FY09-FY10), subject to annual appropriations, to address the technical challenges of wind development and market acceptance barriers that were outlined in the 20% Wind Energy by 2030 report that was released last year.

The funding will be available for projects in six different topic areas that include turbine research, development and testing, distributed wind technologies, market acceptance efforts, environmental research and sitting strategies, transmission analysis, planning and assessments as well as workforce development.

In May 2008, DOE issued the 20% Wind Energy by 2030 report. The report outlined the fact that the U.S. possesses affordable wind energy resources far in excess of those needed to enable a 20% scenario.

However, DOE also identified major challenges that need to be overcome and require action for this to be possible:

  • Major investments in transmission need to be made so that power generated in Midwest locations can be delivered urban centers at great distance
  • Larger electric load balancing areas, in tandem with better regional planning and use of complementary generation and storage, so that grid operators can better integrate wind generation into the electric utility grid
  • Continued reduction in wind turbine capital costs through technology advancement and improved manufacturing capabilities
  • Improved wind turbine performance and reduction of operating and maintenance costs through improved reliability
  • Addressing concerns about local siting, wildlife, and environmental issues within the context of electricity generation
  • Develop an abundant and skilled workforce to supply the growing renewable energy industry.
Completed FOA applications are due by March 3, 2009. The complete FOA can be viewed at Grants.gov. DOE anticipates notifying applicants selected for award by the end of April 2009 and making awards by the end of September 2009.
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