Iowa - first in primaries, first in wind power
As presidential contenders gather in Iowa for the beginning of the party selection season, they may have noticed a lot of wind turbines, writes Zachary Davies Boren. And if they have any sense, they will find only nice things to say about them. Wind supplies 30% of the state's power, more than any other US state, and Iowans are all for it. Ted Cruz, mind your words!
Today, there are 12 factories in Iowa that build wind-related parts and materials, and wind supports as many as 7,000 jobs. Furthermore, the steady long-term costs of wind power promise to keep Iowa's electricity prices stable for many years to come.
All eyes are on Iowa, the midwestern state set to kick-off the US presidential election next week with its folksy first-in-the-nation caucus.
But here's one thing international observers may not know about Iowa: It is the most wind-powered state in the entire country.
Only the much larger Texas and California have greater wind power capacity than Iowa, and they're way behind when it comes to share in the state generation mix.
Nearly 30% of Iowa's electricity comes from the turbines scattered across its vast farmland, the highest penetration percentage of any state.
Republican governor Terry Branstad intends on hitting 40% by 2020. His spokesman has said: "Every turbine you see driving across the state of Iowa means three things. It means income for farmers, it means revenue for local governments, and it means jobs for Iowa families."
Wind power on a sunny day image via Shutterstock.
Read more at ENN Affiliate The Ecologist.