DOE Releases New Database 💻 for Wind Energy Materials 💨

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Wind Energy Technologies Office

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August 15, 2023

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Continue to follow the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) for the latest news, events, and updates.


A full moon behind a wind turbine.

Research & Development Feature

New Article Analyzes How Wind Energy Became Essential to the Modern Grid

In the 1980s, the electric power community considered wind energy a mere curiosity. Over the next 40 years, WETO has worked to establish the electric sector's acceptance of wind energy, enabling it to become a significant contributor to the nation’s energy portfolio.

Learn about the WETO-funded wind energy integration studies that helped launch wind energy to the energy mainstream.


Icon of a wind turbine and gears turning.

Did You Know?

The United States has more than 500 manufacturing facilities specializing in wind turbine components such as blades, towers, and generators, as well as assembly.

Check out our website to learn how WETO promotes advanced manufacturing capabilities for wind energy technology.


Announcements

New Database Quantifies Materials Used for Wind Energy

Workers hang from a wind turbine.

The new open-source Renewable Energy Materials Properties Database catalogs the type, quantity, country of origin, significant uses, projected availability, and physical properties of materials used by wind and solar power technologies. The database can help stakeholders understand the materials required to construct wind and solar power plants, assess how those quantities could impact global supply and demand for these materials, and evaluate how alternative designs and sourcing might mitigate resource constraints under various deployment scenarios.  

The REMPD, explained further in an accompanying summary report, was developed with contributions from experts at four national laboratories. The team also examined the quantity and availability of materials for wind energy technologies to support potential rates of industry growth in a separate report. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory published an additional study using the REMPD to quantify cast-iron wind turbine components needed for U.S. clean energy goals.

DOE Announces New Critical Materials Assessment and Funding Program

DOE’s recently released 2023 Critical Materials Assessment evaluates materials for their criticality to global clean energy technology supply chains. Based on the results of the Assessment, DOE has determined the 2023 DOE Critical Materials List of energy-specific critical and near-critical materials through 2035. In addition to informing DOE priorities, the DOE Critical Materials List will inform eligibility for tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act 48C. DOE also recently announced its intent to fund a Bipartisan Infrastructure Law program that will advance cost-effective and environmentally responsible production, reuse, and recycling of critical minerals and materials in the United States.

DOE Launches Program to Support State and Local Renewable Energy Expansion

DOE announced it plans to fund new, or the expansion of existing, state-based programs that improve renewable energy planning and siting for local communities. DOE anticipates awarding five to seven state-based collaboratives $1-$2 million each, in addition to providing tailored technical assistance. This funding is part of DOE’s new Renewable Energy Siting through Technical Engagement and Planning (R-STEP) program. Interested applicants are encouraged to begin forming collaboratives and attend a webinar on September 11th. Applications are expected to open on September 12th and close on November 3.

New Webpage Highlights Research to Reduce Wind Turbine–Radar Interference

As wind energy development continues to grow and expand to new areas of the country, the likelihood that some turbines will be located within the range of radar systems also increases. This interference can create clutter and reduce detection sensitivity, interfering with target tracking and impeding critical weather forecasting. A new R&D webpage highlights the work WETO is doing to address the potential impacts of operating wind turbines on defense and civilian radar systems. And as part of an interagency working group, WETO just released an updated federal strategy that focuses on future activities to mitigate wind turbine–radar interference for 2023 through 2028, including offshore wind energy development. 

Wind turbines in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

New Study Analyzes How Ordinances Impact Land Available for Renewable Energy Deployment 

State and local zoning laws and ordinances influence how and where a developer can site and deploy new wind projects, supporting the sustainable and responsible development of wind energy. The ordinances can also impact the amount of available land to deploy renewables. In the United States, zoning ordinances at the county and township level are typically enacted before a large-scale solar or wind power facility is constructed on private land. In this new article, published in Nature Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory digs into the types of ordinances in effect and how they could change the amount of available land over time.

DOE Announces $33 Million to Advance Energy Research Across America

DOE announced $33 million to support 14 clean energy research projects as part of a program to ensure the Department’s research funding is reaching the pockets of the country that traditionally have received disproportionately low amounts of Federal scientific funding. The projects will cover a range of topics, two of them being wind-related. 

  • University of New Hampshire (Durham, N.H.): Developing models for marine atmosphere boundary layers to address atmospheric turbulence and impact on wind turbine performance.
  • University of Rhode Island (Kingston, R.I.): Building and testing response systems to protect floating wind turbines and maximize power production during difficult weather conditions.

Clean Energy Champions

Summer Intern Energizes the Wind Energy Technologies Office

Headshot of a young man smiling at the camera in a suit jacket and button up shirt.

WETO celebrated its summer intern, Wendell Grinton, Jr. on National Intern Day! This new Clean Energy Champion supported WETO’s communications team on the upcoming release of our annual market reports, along with various other tasks.

The team reaped the benefits of Grinton’s insight and hard work during the summer as he worked on his doctorate degree in civil engineering. Let’s shoot the breeze and get to know this impressive scholar.


Events

U.S. Offshore Wind Synthesis of Environmental Effects Research Project

Webinar: Sept. 13, 2023, 9–10 a.m. PT, Virtual

The U.S. Offshore Wind Synthesis of Environmental Effects Research project, an effort directed by WETO, is hosting a free, public webinar on Environmental Considerations for Nearshore Ecosystems from Cable Landfall, Navigation, and Port Development for Offshore Wind Energy. During the webinar, speakers from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Aspen Environmental Group, and Moffatt & Nichol will present on the environmental considerations needed for the development of offshore wind energy and its potential effects on nearshore ecosystems, including effects from cable landfall, navigation, and port development.

EERE STEMtember Sessions: Careers in Clean Energy–Renewable Energy

Webinar: Sept. 21, 2023, 12 pm–2 pm ET, Virtual

This September, join the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) for a weekly virtual career fair, the STEMtember Sessions: Careers in Clean Energy, a networking opportunity during which EERE team members will discuss their diverse roles in renewable energy, sustainable transportation and fuels, energy efficiency, and business operations. You do not need a degree in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) to work in clean energy, so come with questions and learn about how you can become a Clean Energy Champion.

American Floating Offshore Wind Technical Summit 2023

Conference: Sept. 26–27, 2023, Portland, ME, and Virtual

This 2-day conference brings together industry, academia, and floating offshore wind experts from around the world to chart a course for domestic floating offshore wind energy. Whether in person or virtually, join this event to participate in discussions on the technical, regulatory, and permitting challenges that must be addressed to unlock floating offshore wind energy’s significant potential. Speakers will include DOE’s Nate McKenzie and Monica Maher. 

Check out the rest of our events list that may be of interest to wind energy technology communities! 💨


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