Wind is an emissions-free energy technology with largely untapped potential to meet future U.S. energy needs while helping address the challenge of climate change. Wind Powering America is a new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) initiative announced in June 1999 to supply 5 percent of U.S. electricity through wind technologies by 2020. Meeting this goal will avoid annual greenhouse gas emissions of over 30 million metric tons of carbon equivalent (MMTCE) in 2020. Mid-term program goals include:
Doubling the number of states with more than 20 megawatts of wind capacity to 16 by 2005, and tripling that number to 24 by 2010.
Increasing the contribution of wind turbines to Federal electricity use to 5 percent (1,000 megawatts) by 2010.
Wind Powering America will seek to meet its goals through a robust program to accelerate the research, development, and deployment of wind technologies. The initiative will build partnerships with states and localities, educate the U.S. public on the benefits of wind power, and encourage Federal agencies and organizations to lead by example in the employment of wind technologies.
Wind Power Is Here and Now
A New "Crop" for Farmers.Since 1998 more than 400 megawatts of new wind generating capacity has been installed on farmlands in the Great Plains region of the United States, providing a substantial economic boost directly to farmers, landowners, and local communities while satisfying the growing demand for clean electricity. Wind farming creates construction and service jobs in rural regions, as well substantial tax revenues for local municipalities.
Remote Community Power. Kotzebue, Alaska, located north of the Arctic circle, is putting wind energy to work in reducing its dependence on diesel fuel for electric power. Shipment of diesel fuel to Kotzebue as well as many other Alaskan communities is expensive, seasonally limited, and environmentally risky. Kotzebue recently began operating a wind farm comprised of 10 rugged 66-kilowatt turbines that are reliably providing up to 10 percent of the community's power needs with an energy cost savings of about 40 percent.
Federal Opportunity. Three 225-kilowatt wind turbines are saving the U.S. Navy more than $100,000 each year in diesel fuel costs for powering its station on San Clemente Island, 70 miles off the coast of Southern California. In addition, the turbines are helping the Navy respond to stringent local air pollution control man-dates. With a near-perfect reliability record, the project is serving as a model for the way that wind energy can bring benefits to Federal facilities.
Click here for additional information on Wind Powering America and the DOE Wind Energy Program.
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