A new report concludes between 17 and 20% of the electricity that’s generated in Iowa is now coming from wind turbines. “That ranks us with the world leaders,” says Teresa Galluzzo of the Iowa Policy Project, the report’s co-author. “Denmark reached that capacity mark of 20 percent a couple of years ago and now Iowa as a state is up there with the world leaders.”
The Iowa Policy Project report shows Iowa’s wind industry is generating nearly 3700 megawatts of power annually. “We can’t say exactly where this generation is being consumed,” Galluzzo says. “But if it were all to be consumed in Iowa it would serve the equivalent of 75 percent of our homes with this capacity.”
According to Iowa Policy Project executive director David Osterberg, wind turbines in the state now generate nearly six times as much power as the state’s lone nuclear plant. “There’s a load of wind out there that can be gleaned,” Osterberg says, “and we’re just beginning to scratch the surface even at 20 percent.”
Iowa was recently ranked number seven among the states in wind energy potential. In terms of actual wind energy generation today, Iowa is second to Texas in generating electricity from wind turbines.