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Blog Category: Department of Energy

NOAA, U.S. Department of Energy and Private Partners Launch Project to Reduce Cost of Energy, Including Wind Energy

Wind turbines

There has not always been a need to know precisely how hard the wind blows 350 feet above Earth’s surface. Today, wind turbines occupy that zone of the atmosphere, generating electricity. So NOAA and several partners have launched a year-long effort to improve forecasts of the winds there, which ultimately will help to reach the nation’s renewable energy goals.

The Wind Forecast Improvement Project (WFIP) is a collaboration among NOAA, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), two private wind energy companies and academic research institutions. The project began today as dozens of powerful, custom instruments designed to better profile and predict the weather and winds were powered up.

“The end goal is to lower the cost of electric power for the consumer and meet President Obama’s clean energy challenge,” said Alexander MacDonald, NOAA deputy assistant administrator for research and director of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) in Boulder, Colo. “Our starting point is to improve the basic wind forecast for all users, including wind power and conventional energy companies, the aviation industry and the general public.”

Last fall, through a competitive process, the DOE chose AWS Truepower, LLC and WindLogics, Inc. to participate in WFIP. DOE funds WFIP with about $6 million, while NOAA contributes scientific experts and expertise in collecting atmospheric data and in making weather predictions. The project targets the Upper Midwest and Texas, which were selected in part because WFIP industry partners support thousands of wind turbines in the areas.  Read more  |  Video

Secretary Locke Stresses Need for a Clean Energy Economy at First-Ever Clean Energy Ministerial Public Forum

Secretary Locke on podiumU.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke addressed ministers, CEOs and clean energy leaders today at the first-ever Clean Energy Ministerial Public Forum held at the Ronald Reagan Building. Hosted by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, the two-day ministerial brought together government leaders and stakeholders from more than 20 countries to collaborate on policies and programs aimed at accelerating the world's transition to clean energy technologies. The meeting grows out of a Global Partnership launched by the leaders of the Major Economies Forum.

In his remarks, Locke highlighted Department of Commerce clean energy initiatives including the development of a first-ever National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Export Strategy, a new green patents program, and his recent clean energy trade mission to China and Indonesia.

The countries that participated in the ministerial represent 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, 80 percent of global gross domestic product, and 80 percent of the global market for clean energy technologies.  Remarks