Iowa is a national leader in the development of wind energy. Currently the state derives about 35% of its energy from wind. That’s a figure to be pretty darn proud of as 2018 heads to a close.
But the state isn’t stopping there. MidAmerican and other energy companies in the state are experimenting with taller towers to harness greater wind generation. They are also evolving the blade design to increase the surface area, which can bring dramatic increases of energy output.
The more research and development is put into today’s wind turbines, will continue to drive the cost down. But just how much? A recent article published by over 160 of the world’s foremost energy experts confirm that the average cost of wind energy dropping by up to 24 percent by 2030 and possibly 35 percent by 2050. The more attractive the cost of developing and relying on wind energy is, the more money will get invested there.
What would this mean for the residents of Iowa, and Iowa business owners? The wind association compared the cost and value of wind energy at $22 per megawatt hour, with that of fuel for gas and coal-fired plants at $33 per megawatt hour, making a different in approximately $11 for consumers. This figure of savings is likely to continue rising as the cost of fossil fuels continues to drive higher. The Wind Energy Foundation expects doubling of wind energy construction and output planned will save Iowa consumers $12.6 billion over the next 25 years. The average industrial consumers’ savings around $825,000 on electric bills and households about $3,200 over that time.
Not only does having wind energy operating in Iowa save on our bills, wind energy may very well be the new cash cow for struggling Iowa farmers. Currently, over 70% of U.S. turbines are located in low income rural areas. Landowners who sign lease agreements with wind companies typically see between $7-10,000 per turbine each year. The federal tax credit on wind production saw a five-year extension at the end of 2015, which will help companies such as MidAmerican double their wind power capacity. The credit pays power producers 2.3 cents/kwh of electricity generated over a 10-year period.
It is great to see our beautiful state leading the nation toward safer, sustainable, green energy sources. Sources that will not destroy our beautiful earth, deplete her natural resources, or run out, and even produces a secure source of income for struggling families, communities, and the state overall. Revenue from wind energy will continue to pour into education, building better roadways, and enhancing the infrastructure of our great state.