WASHINGTON, May 6 (UPI) -- U.S. Department of Energy officials say they've selected 53 new wind energy projects for up to $8.5 million in federal funding.
The projects, the department said, will address market and deployment challenges identified in its report "20% Wind Energy by 2030."
"Wind energy is one of our most promising renewable energy sources," Energy Department Secretary Steven Chu said. "By continuing to make investments in renewable energy we can cut our dependence on foreign oil and invest in a clean energy agenda that creates jobs and puts money back into the pockets of consumers."
Officials said they have determined the nation possesses affordable wind energy resources in excess of those needed to generate 20 percent of U.S. electricity needs. But major challenges exist, including investment in a national transmission system, larger electric load balance areas, reduction in wind turbine capital costs and improvement of turbine performance, siting and environmental issues.
The Energy Department's report is available at http://www1.eere.energy.gov/windandhydro/pdfs/41869.pdf.