Bill would support wind research at DOE

Source: Christa Marshall, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, February 4, 2016

Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation yesterday to support wind research at the Department of Energy.

The “Wind Energy Research and Development Act of 2016” directs DOE to conduct a research-and-development program to improve the efficiency of wind generation capacity, optimize its design and reduce costs associated with permitting and other issues. It also outlines a variety of wind technologies for department attention, such as offshore floating systems and “projects to assess and mitigate the impacts of hurricane wind flow.”

The measure calls for a program to support innovative technologies “that are not represented in a significant way in the Department of Energy’s current portfolio.”

The bill — which is supported by the American Wind Energy Association — would authorize $200 million for each fiscal year from 2017 through 2021.

Wind capacity is forecast to increase 14 percent in 2016 and 3 percent in 2017, according to data released this week from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Last week, the American Wind Energy Association reported that the U.S. industry experienced its second strongest quarter ever in the last three months of 2015, installing 5,001 megawatts.