Letter to the Editor: Iowa generates 35 percent of electricity using wind

Source: By John Hensley, Iowa Farmer Today • Posted: Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Iowa did generate over 35 percent of its electricity using wind power over the last year, despite the confusion in Jerry Crew’s Nov. 19 letter.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) collects data showing all power plants in Iowa generated a total of 54,176 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity from September 2015 through August 2016, and wind plants provided more than 35 percent of that total: 19,148 GWh.

All studies indicate that wind plants repay the energy invested in building them in a matter of months, contrary to Mr. Crew’s claim. Wind plants continue to provide zero-emission, zero-fuel-cost energy for decades, protecting consumers and the environment.

Nor is wind power heavily subsidized, as Mr. Crew suggested. The reality is all sources of U.S. energy receive government incentives. Since 1950, wind has received less than three percent of all federal money spent on energy incentives. Fossil fuels and nuclear account for 65 percent and 21 percent, respectively.

The truth is, wind power creates good jobs, saves money and brings new financial resources to communities across Iowa.

John Hensley, American Wind Energy Association