Expert urges Congress to fund wind power research

A Texas professor urged members of Congress to drive a growing Big Country industry by funding wind-energy research.

Vital initiatives from building a better turbine to honing wind forecasting stand to benefit from a federal proposal to pump $200 million annually into research and development for wind power, Andrew Swift, director of the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center at Texas Tech, told a congressional panel Tuesday.

“I believe if research and education investments are made on the scale proposed that this industry can provide 20 percent of the nation’s electrical power by 2030,” the Lubbock professor said in testimony.

The Department of Energy came up with the 20 percent projection, estimating reaching it would create 180,000 wind-industry jobs.

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