WASHINGTON, July 22, 2015 –Name a “crop” that saves money, creates jobs and is drought-resistant during the hottest weather?
It’s wind power and it’s sprouting up across the U.S., according to a new report from the American Wind Power Association (AWEA) and the Wind Energy Foundation. Their analysis looks at the potential for future wind power in Iowa, one of the top wind-energy producing states in the nation.
The organizations held a roundtable discussion to discuss the findings at Des Moines Area Community College, where 70 percent of students in the Industry and Technology Department study wind-related programs. The report highlights new state-specific data from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in its recently released Wind vision: A new era for wind power in the United States.
A top takeaway of the report is that $3.6 billion in total electric bill savings are possible through 2050 as the state continues to tap Iowa’s world-class wind resource. While the state already reliably generates over 28 percent of its electricity from wind, the DOE data shows wind could supply over 40 percent of Iowa’s electricity in the next five years. It could more than triple that by 2030 – supplying enough electricity for 6.3 million average American homes, and offering a growing export product for other states to buy from Iowa.
“Iowa is a national leader in wind energy and it has been great for our economy,” commented Rep. David Young, R-Iowa. “In Iowa we understand that an investment in wind power is an investment in jobs.”
“Iowa is already a leader in wind energy, but this report shows the Hawkeye state has just scratched the surface of wind power’s benefits to the state,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA.
Wind power already supports up to 7,000 well-paying jobs in Iowa and is a leader in the state’s manufacturing sector, including jobs at 13 factories and assembly plants around the state. The new report shows in addition to creating many more jobs, annual land-lease payments to Iowa farmer and other rural landowners could grow from $17.1 million today to $55 million just 15 years from now, in 2030.
“Iowa families and businesses can reap a tremendous amount of further economic, clean air and water conservation benefits from wind energy,” said Kiernan. “Iowa’s political leadership understands that and any of the 2016 presidential candidates passing through Iowa must take note.”
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