The state of Iowa has been steadily increasing its wind power capacity over the last several years. A press release from this year says that up to 20 percent of Iowa’s electricity is produced by wind. The document is from the Iowa Policy Project.
The organization’s director, David Osterberg said of the trend, “In the last two years, Iowa added 2,500 megawatts of wind turbine capacity, and now has wind capacity nearly six times the size of Iowa’s lone nuclear plant.” Electricity prices in Iowa are also below the national average even though they have been investing in renewable technology, says the press release. About five percent of Iowa’s electricity was generated by wind power in 2006.
The state is not finished with its wind power growth. There is much more wind potential to be harvested according to research from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory showing, “roughly three-quarters of Iowa has high enough wind at 80 meters above the ground to produce wind energy.”
An American Wind Energy Association report on Iowa stated at the end of 2009 the state had 3,670 megawatts of wind power. The total wind power potential is vast, a research study concluded over 4,000 percent of Iowa’s current electricity use could generated. It also said between 5,000 and 10,000 jobs are directly and indirectly related to wind energy production there.
Seventy-five percent of Iowa’s electricity is generated by coal-fired power plants. The state also has one nuclear power plant.
Image Credit: Andrea Pkryzwinski