U.S. Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman recently announced that the Department of Energy will grant $30 million to develop affordable technology for natural gas vehicles.
The University of Texas at Austin's Center for Electromechanics will receive $4.3 million to develop a lighter and more affordable natural gas refueling station for home use. Texas A&M researchers will get $3 million to develop technology for natural gas storage tanks.
Two California companies were also selected for the projects. Other selected projects were in Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Washington and Wisconsin, according to media reports.
Poneman announced the newly selected projects at a meeting of the National Petroleum Council (NPC) in Houston Thursday.
"These projects could transform America's energy infrastructure and economy by utilizing domestic energy sources to power our vehicles, reducing our reliance on imported oil and increasing American energy security," Poneman said.
Ponemen also announced support for a federal tax credit for wind power during his Houston tour, according to newspaper The Houston Chronicle.
In light of the impending expiration of the federal wind power Production Tax Credit, Poneman toured a Houston wind power manufacturing facility that is suffering from declining business.
The Obama administration supports the wind power subsidy, which gives wind power producer 2.2 cents for each kilowatt-hour of electricity produced. "It's already had a chilling effect on orders," Poneman said. "We're looking to Congress. It's important that they act soon."
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