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AWEA statement: Cuts to DOE Wind Program hurt American energy consumers

AWEA statement: Cuts to DOE Wind Program hurt American energy consumers

Washington, D.C., April 20, 2016 — American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) CEO, Tom Kiernan, made the following statement today 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.


AWEA is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry. We represent 1,000 member companies and over 114,000 jobs in the U.S. economy, serving as a powerful voice for how wind works for America. Members include global leaders in wind power and energy development, turbine manufacturing, and component and service suppliers. They gather each year at the Western Hemisphere’s largest wind energy event, the AWEA WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, next in Denver, June 1-4, 2020. WINDPOWER 2020 will be housed within CLEANPOWER, the new exhibition hub for utility-scale renewable energy, bringing together wind power, solar power, and energy storage industries. Find information about wind energy on the AWEA website. Gain insight into industry issues on AWEA's blog, Into the Wind. And please join us on Facebook and follow @AWEA on Twitter and LinkedIn.