Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Energy Department Spends $28M to Push Wind Energy

The Biden administration continues to pump money into wind energy.

Eligible applicants can received between $500,000 and $8 million each to “enable the innovations needed to advance U.S. wind systems, reduce the cost of electricity, and accelerate the deployment of wind power,” according to the Dept. of Energy grant opportunity.


Funded through President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the grant will support research to improve offshore wind transmission technologies, including better understanding the impacts of offshore wind development on affected communities and reduce impacts to wildlife, according to an Energy Dept. press release.

While Biden set a goal of 100 percent clean electricity by 2035 and a net-zero-emissions economy by 2050, wind energy only accounted for more than 9 percent all electricity generation in the U.S. in 2021.

The fact that wind energy makes up so little of electricity generation means companies aren’t biting.

That’s in part because creating energy from wind is expensive, a cost-prohibitive endeavor that stops companies from the entering the space, and caused those already in the industry to leave or downsize.

Earlier this month, General Electric announced plans to lay off 20 percent of its wind workforce in the U.S.

A note to employees stated, “We are taking steps to streamline and size our onshore wind business for market realities to position us for future success. These are difficult decisions, which do not reflect on our employees’ dedication and hard work but are needed to ensure the business can compete and improve profitability over time.”

Those “market realities,” as GE so delicately put it, include increased costs, supply chain disruptions, and competition from other major energy firms, the company said.

The Energy Dept. is hoping the grant will fund ways to lower costs and help companies get into wind energy in all its applications — offshore, land-based, and distributed.

Even in places like Texas, the country’s biggest wind-power state, low winds made turbines churn out just 8 percent of their capacity in July.

We’ve seen this before with wind energy. The federal government is pushing a flawed product that few companies are buying and when they do, they have buyer’s remorse.

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This article was originally published by RealClearPolicy and made available via RealClearWire.