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20 Jan 2010: Wind Energy Could Supply
20 Percent of Power in Eastern U.S.

Wind energy could provide 20 percent of the electricity for the eastern half of the United States by 2024, but only if the nation makes a significant financial investment, according to new government report. About $90 billion would be required to install a network of land- and sea-based wind turbines and about 22,000 miles of new power lines, according to the study published by U.S. Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The report said that the government would have to provide a significant portion of that investment through programs such as loan guarantees. “We can bring more wind power online, but if we don’t have the proper infrastructure to move that power around, it’s like buying a hybrid car and leaving it in the garage,” said David Corbus, project manager for the study. To reach the 20 percent goal, wind power in the eastern U.S. would have to expand 10-fold from current production. Most new wind projects should be located in federal waters from Massachusetts to North Carolina, and across the Midwestern states, the report said. The Obama administration has earmarked billions of dollars for renewable energy projects, and recently stepped in to accelerate the permitting process of a long-disputed offshore wind proposal in Massachusetts that would provide electricity for 400,000 homes.

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