As part of the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, which seeks to improve the competitiveness of American production of clean energy products, the Energy Department has announced $1.8 million in funding to develop wind turbine blades longer than 60 meters. The longer turbine blades will be used in the implementation of new multi-megawatt wind turbines that will produce more energy than current systems.
The funding will help eliminate obstacles such as transportation and logistical issues that previously stood in the way of installing the larger systems, especially in areas of the country where the most wind can be accessed at greater heights, such as the Southeast. The DOE notes that the development of taller turbines with longer blades could potentially harness another one million square mile of the U.S., which is about triple the amount of land that was accessible to solar technology in 2008. Also mentioned are the conclusions reached in the latest Wind Vision report, which projects that wind power generation could be economically viable in all 50 states by 2050.