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The U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Science and Technology's Energy and Environment subcommittee held a hearing to examine the status of wind and solar energy research and development (R&D) programs and discuss the need for a comprehensive plan to guide future activities. In addition, members received testimony on H.R.3165, the Wind Energy Research and Development Act of 2009.

"We must harness the power of science to access the almost limitless renewable energy in our own backyard," says Subcommittee Chairman Brian Baird, D-Wash. "According to a study by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the accessible wind potential in just 12 states could power the entire country twice over, without using a drop of foreign oil. Researching how to best access these resources is both good economic policy and good national security policy."

H.R.3165, authored by Energy and Environment Subcommittee Vice Chairman Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., would authorize a comprehensive research, development and demonstration program to advance wind energy technologies.

The committee says that today's proportion of U.S. electric generation of power from wind is less than 2% but has the potential to be 20% or more. This increase would require improvements in wind turbine technology, forecasting capability, energy storage, and the expansion of transmission systems.

SOURCE: The U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Science and Technology

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