Iowa now leads the nation in wind energy percentage


Wind turbines on a snow covered field in Iowa. (Michael Leland/Flickr)
Wind turbines on a snow covered field in Iowa. (Michael Leland/Flickr)
KC McGinnis | March 1, 2016

Iowa now leads the nation in percentage of energy production from wind, according to the latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the findings yesterday in a statement from the capitol.

With 31.3% of its energy coming from wind Iowa is the first in the nation to cross 30% and is well on its way to 40%, according to Gov. Branstad, who chairs the Governor’s Wind and Solar Energy Coalition. Energy generation at utility-scale wind facilities in Iowa jumped 27% to 1.8 million Megawatthours in 2015.

Iowa wasn’t alone in its growth in the wind energy sector. Wind energy generation jumped 44% in Oklahoma, which is ranked fourth in wind energy percentage, and more than 50% in Texas over the same one-year period. But with Iowa also leading the nation in ethanol production, the Hawkeye State has positioned itself as a leader in both renewable energy and renewable fuels.

Iowa’s investment in wind energy has had both environmental and economic benefits. According to data from the American Wind Energy Association, wind projects brought $11.8 billion in investments and jobs while saving Iowans 3.5 billion gallons of water and 5.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of taking 1.3 million cars off the road.

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