White House Maintains Wind Energy Research

Although the White House’s fiscal year 2005 budget proposal, released last week, calls for a 2.3% reduction in spending for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) energy efficiency and renewable energy (EERE) programs, spending for research for wind power would increase slightly, according to analysis by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Proposed funding for wind power research rose 0.7% from last year’s budget to $41.6 million.

Washington D.C. – February 10, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] The overall budget for the Department of Energy tallied up to $24.3 billion, up 4.5% from the current year’s spending. The biggest increase went to develop a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. In other budgets, funding for some other renewable energy programs were cut. For example, in the U.S. Department of Agriculture budget, the White House is proposing $10.8 million for the Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Grant & Loan Program, although the mandatory funding level is $23 million, and is proposing to provide only $15.5 million of the mandatory $40 million for the “Value-Added” grants program which provides funding for new uses-including renewable energy-for agricultural products. The Bush Administration’s budget proposal calls for the following programs that would benefit wind power: Tribal Energy Activities – $5.5 million is proposed to provide technical and financial assistance in energy efficiency and renewable energy development to Native American governments. Renewable Energy Production Incentive – $4 million is proposed to make payments to municipal utilities that employ renewable energy technologies. Wind Research and Development Technology Viability $12 million proposed for the Low Wind Speed Technology program to achieve the goal of 3 cents/per kWh for on-land systems or 5 cents/kWh for offshore systems in Class 4 wind regimes by 2012. This program is restricted to wind turbines over 100 kW in capacity size. $2 million proposed for the Distributed Wind Technology program to achieve the goal of 10-15 cents/kWh in Class 3 wind regimes by 2007. This program is restricted to wind turbines under 100 kW in capacity size. $17 million proposed for Supporting Research and Testing to provide technical support to the Low Wind Speed Technology and the Distributed Wind Technology programs by funding research from national laboratories, universities, and other research institutions. Technology Application $3.2 million proposed for Systems Integration to enhance the compatibility of wind energy technologies with the electric power system and develop information to ensure fair treatment of wind energy by power system operators, transmission owners, and regulators. No funds were requested for state-by-state wind energy resource assessment since core resource assessment and mapping efforts are expected to be completed in fiscal year 2004. $4 million proposed for Technology Acceptance, working with stakeholders to move wind energy technology into the power generation market. This figure includes $3.1 million in funding for the Wind Powering America program. $3.4 million proposed for Supporting Engineering and Analysis. This provides for a number of crosscutting functions for supporting the other programs’ goals, such as analysis to track improvements in wind technology, market analyses, participation in design standards for wind turbine design and testing, design review and testing support for the Underwriters Laboratories wind turbine certification program, and operation and management of the National Wind Technology Center. Analysis courtesy of AWEA’s Wind Energy Weekly
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