U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
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Wind Powering America 2008 Activities Summary

Wind Powering America 2008 Activities Summary

File: Wind Powering America 2008 Activities Summary

Date: 2/20/2009

We are pleased to present the Wind Powering America Fiscal Year 2008 Activities Summary, which reflects the accomplishments of our state Wind Working Groups, our programs at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and our partner organizations. The national WPA team remains a leading force for moving wind energy forward in the United States.

At the beginning of 2008, there were more than 16,500 megawatts (MW) of wind power installed across the United States, with an additional 7,000 MW projected by year end, bringing the U.S. installed capacity to more than 23,000 MW by the end of 2008. When our partnership was launched in 2000, there were 2,500 MW of installed wind capacity in the United States. At that time, only four states had more than 100 MW of installed wind capacity. Twenty-two states now have more than 100 MW installed, compared to 17 at the end of 2007. We anticipate that four or five additional states will join the 100-MW club in 2009, and by the end of the decade, more than 30 states will have passed the 100-MW milestone. WPA celebrates the 100-MW milestones because the first 100 megawatts are always the most difficult and lead to significant experience, recognition of the wind energy's benefits, and expansion of the vision of a more economically and environmentally secure and sustainable future. Of course, the 20% Wind Energy by 2030 report (developed by AWEA, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and other stakeholders) indicates that 44 states may be in the 100-MW club by 2030, and 33 states will have more than 1,000 MW installed (at the end of 2008, there were six states in that category).

WPA continues to work with its national, regional, and state partners to communicate the opportunities and benefits of wind energy to a diverse set of stakeholders. WPA now has 33 state Wind Working Groups (welcoming Nebraska, Arkansas, and Kansas in 2008) that form strategic alliances to communicate wind's benefits and challenges to state stakeholders. We anticipate adding several more state Wind Working Groups in 2009. More than 140 members of national and state public- and private-sector organizations from 36 U.S. states and Canada attended the 7th Annual WPA All-States Summit in Houston in June. The WPA Web site activity has doubled in 2008, and the site now receives 45,000 to 50,000 visitors per month.

WPA's emphasis remains on the rural agricultural sector, which stands to reap the significant economic development benefits of wind energy development. Additionally, WPA continues its program of outreach, education, and technical assistance to Native American communities, public power entities, and regulatory and legislative bodies. Many of our state partners are active in attracting the wind manufacturing supply chain and developing the workforce needed for a rapidly growing industry.

We continue to work on wind-siting issues, including radar, with other agencies that have responsibility for development on public lands and protection of wildlife. WPA solidified its Wind for Schools pilot effort in Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota, Montana, and Idaho and plans to expand it to additional states in 2009. WPA managed the three Regional Wind Energy Institutes to educate and train stakeholders to present the wind energy story. Through these joint efforts and many others, we continue to expand wind energy as a viable option for power generation.

The 20% Wind Energy by 2030 scenario requires significantly enhanced outreach efforts to communicate the benefits, the required infrastructure upgrades, and the regulatory actions needed to accomplish this promising future for many stakeholder groups in all regions of the country.

The past year has been a year of transition in many ways. WPA's national coordinator, Phil Dougherty, moved on to the private sector. Our everexuberant DOE colleague Steve Palomo passed away, and we all miss his engaging spirit. Additionally, there is new leadership at NREL, DOE, and AWEA. But as always, we appreciate the commitment of our partners to continue to work together for a cleaner, more prosperous America with increased energy security.

This information was last updated on February 20, 2009