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DOE Announces Effort to Advance U.S. Wind Power Manufacturing Capacity (posted 6/5/08)

June 5, 2008
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The DOE will work with six leading wind industry turbine manufacturers to promote wind energy in the U.S. through advanced technology research and development.

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Andy Karsner recently announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the DOE and six leading wind industry turbine manufacturers: GE Energy, Siemens Power Generation, Vestas Wind Systems, Clipper Turbine Works, Suzlon Energy and Gamesa Corp. The two-year collaboration is designed to promote wind energy in the U.S. through advanced technology research and development, and siting strategies aimed to advance industrial wind power manufacturing capabilities.

“The MOU between the DOE and the six major turbine manufacturers demonstrates the shared commitment of the federal government and the private sector to create the roadmap necessary to achieve 20% wind energy by 2030,” said Karsner. “To dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance our energy security, clean power generation at the gigawatt-scale will be necessary to expand the domestic wind manufacturing base and streamline the permitting process.”

As part of President Bush’s Advanced Energy Initiative announced in 2006, clean, secure and sustainable wind energy has the potential to play an increasingly important role in the Bush Administration’s long-term energy strategy to make investments today that fundamentally change the way we power U.S. homes and businesses, and that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions growth by 2025. This agreement builds on the recently released DOE report (“20 Percent Wind Energy in 2030”) that examines the technical feasibility of harnessing wind power to provide up to 20% of the nation’s total electricity needs by 2030. Most notably, the report finds that by using wind power to meet 20% of our nation’s electricity needs, we can eliminate 7.6 cumulative gigatons of CO2 by 2030 and 825 million metric tons in 2030 and every year thereafter.

Under the MOU, the DOE and the six turbine manufacturers will collaborate to gather and exchange information to define specific needs for achieving 20% wind energy by 2030. The MOU addresses the following areas:
  • Turbine Reliability and Operability Research & Development to create more reliable components, improve turbine capacity factors, and reduce installation and operations and maintenance costs.
  • Siting Strategies to address environmental and technical issues like radar interference in a standardized framework based on industry best practices.
  • Standards Development for turbine certification and universal generator interconnection.
  • Manufacturing advances in design, process automation and fabrication techniques to reduce product-to-product variability and premature failure while increasing the domestic manufacturing base.
  • Workforce development, including the development, standardization and certification of wind energy curricula for mechanical and power systems engineers and community college training programs.
In 2007, U.S. cumulative wind energy capacity reached 16,818 megawatts (MW), with more than 5000 MW of wind installed in 2007. Wind contributed to more than 30% of the new U.S. electricity generation capacity in 2007, making it the second largest source of new power generation in the nation (surpassed only by natural gas). The U.S. wind energy industry invested approximately $9 billion in new generating capacity in 2007 and has experienced a 30% annual growth rate in the last five years.

Visit www.energy.gov for additional information.

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