Iowa Moves up in Wind Rankings
on Friday, January 29, 2016
Iowa has surpassed California – a state nearly three times its size – to claim second nationally in the amount of wind energy installed. Iowa had previously ranked third in wind capacity installed, behind California and Texas, and currently produces more energy with wind – 28.5% as of the end of 2014 - than any other state.
“Thanks to its abundant wind resources, a strong history of public and private support, and the work of wind energy advocates – including the Council and its allies – Iowa has long been a national wind energy leader,” said Energy Program Director Nathaniel Baer. “Continued growth in wind energy means Iowa could increase wind jobs beyond the 7,000 we had in 2015 while consumers benefit from a low-cost source of energy.”
The new national rankings were released in the American Wind Energy Association fourth quarter report. Iowa now has 6,212 megawatts (MW). If installed wind energy capacity – enough to power over 1,90,000 homes – and significant potential remains. Iowa has added 1,000 MW or more of wind in some years and about 300 MW came online in the fourth quarter of 2015 to help blow past California, which now trails Iowa by 104 MW.
Iowa would need to triple its wind energy output to unseat Texas, which had nearly 18,000 MW installed at the end of 2015, but the potential is there.
Iowa has the technical potential to build more than 570,000 MW. Wind development to date is just over 1% of that potential. Iowa can also build and sell wind energy, infrastructure and services to other states, which increases economic development and job opportunities.
Long-term extensions of key tax incentives like the Production Tax Credit passed by Congress last month, will also drive further clean energy growth in Iowa and nationwide. These federal and state incentives, advancements in technology that are driving output up and costs down, and the contribution of wind to grid reliability and stability, are helping position states to achieve their Clean Power Plan carbon reductions. Iowa is well-equipped to meet its goal.
News of the Iowa’s increased leadership in wind energy follows a victory in federal court last week to clean up the entire nation’s power supply: The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an attempt to block implementation of the Clean Power Plan during ongoing legal proceedings.
Learn more about Iowa's wind energy leadership and potential.
- carbon pollution
- clean energy
- wind power
- wind tax credits