U.S. senators want $400 million spent on wind energy

Senators from two Northeast states have urged U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu to commit $400 million from the economic stimulus package to support an advanced wind energy programme, especially for offshore wind projects.

The letter was sent by Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and Delaware Senators Tom Carper and Ted Kaufman who want this energy source to develop along with  American technologies and American companies, reported Reuters.

The lawmakers have recommended funding for a programme to research, develop, and deploy offshore wind technologies and accelerate efforts to reach this potential.

The economic stimulus bill includes several provisions to spur development of wind and other renewable energy industries in the current adverse economic climate. According to the American Wind Energy Association, the U.S. wind energy industry in 2008 installed about 42 percent of all the new electric generating capacity added last year and created 35,000 jobs, primarily in construction and manufacturing.

About 1.5 percent of the U.S. electricity supplies provided by utilities and independent power producers this year will be generated by wind energy, according to the Energy Department.