Estimates by the Iowa Utilities Board now indicate that wind fuels about 15% of the electricity generated in Iowa, up from the 5% level estimated in 2006.
‘Even those of us who keep up with the wind industry were amazed that around 15 percent of our total electric generation in Iowa is from wind power,’ says David Osterberg, executive director of the nonpartisan Iowa Policy Project (IPP).
A new report from the Iowa Policy Project (IPP) – available at iowapolicyproject.org – notes that while wind turbine towers are more common in northern Iowa, the state has also regularly been among national leaders in wind production.
As of the end of 2008, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) found Iowa was second in the nation in installed wind power capacity. Iowa had installed 2,791 MW of capacity by year-end 2008, equal to 11% of the total wind capacity in the U.S.
According to IPP researchers, generation of power from wind has not cost consumers. The report noted the state's largest electric utility, MidAmerican Energy, has greatly expanded its commitment to wind energy and is close to operating or contracting for 1,200 MW or 18% of its production.
In addition, MidAmerican has noted its expansion since 2004 has come without raising electric rates, and it has committed not to seek an increase to become effective before 2014.
Iowa's large share of wind in electricity production compares with that of Europe. According to AWEA, Denmark leads the world, producing more than 20% of its electricity from wind energy.
For more information, visit iowapolicyproject.org.
SOURCE: The Iowa Policy Project