American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) CEO, Tom Kiernan, made the following statement April 20 as Congress looks to act on the FY2017 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill this week.
Last week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations voted to cut FY 2017 funding for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Wind Energy Program by $16 million from its FY 2016 level and by $27 million from its FY 2015 level. This important program provides the necessary support to fund cost-saving innovation. The DOE’s Wind Energy Program helps to improve wind turbine technology and overcome barriers that constrain wind energy deployment. At proposed funding levels the DOE Wind Energy Program will be unable to maintain current program levels and likely fail to deliver on a number of important near-term initiatives.
“Cutting funding for the DOE’s Wind Energy Program will ultimately deny savings to American consumers. Wind power costs two-thirds less than it did six years ago thanks in part to results of this program. Decreasing funding for the DOE Wind Energy Program harms our country’s ability to continue advancing wind energy technology and keep more money in the pockets of millions of Americans. To maximize America’s wind energy potential, we urge Congress to, at a minimum, fund this critical program at its FY 2015 level,” Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA.
The gold stars in the chart below show the locations of current Wind Energy Program research and development locations supporting American jobs, including Clemson University’s SCE&G Energy Innovation Center testing advanced wind turbine drivetrains, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center which tests turbine blades and materials.