Iowa: 81 percent Support from Those that Know Wind Power Best
August 12, 2011
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Wind now generates 20 percent of Iowa’s electricity
What’s telling about Iowa is that these people who know wind power the best are big fans of the clean, renewable energy source. A full 81 percent of Iowa voters believe that the growth of the wind industry has been good for Iowa’s economy, according to a recent poll by GOP pollster Neil Newhouse. Further, Iowa voters chose wind, by a 3-to-1 margin, as their preferred energy source to power their state.
In 2010 alone, wind farm owners paid $16.5 million in property taxes and an additional $11 million in land lease payments to property owners.
Thus, Iowa illustrates for the rest of America the breadth of economic benefits from wind: manufacturing activity, tax revenue for rural areas that often need it most, and steady revenue streams for farmers, who operate in a notoriously high-risk business environment.
Branstad is not Iowa’s only trailblazing public official in the area of wind power. On Capitol Hill, fellow Republican U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley is credited with being instrumental in the development of the federal Production Tax Credit for renewable energy, which was established in the 1990s and continues to be the key financial policy driver for the wind industry to this day (in spite of being extended in only in short-term increments through the years). Today, Iowans are highly familiar with wind power, and the industry enjoys strong bipartisan support.
More Iowa wind fun-facts below!!
Snips from the Iowa Wind Energy Association website
The wind industry currently supports 2,667 manufacturing and operation/maintenance jobs with an estimated annual payroll of $70.2 million dollars.
Landowners receive an estimated $12.67 million dollars annually in land lease payments and the increase in the property tax assessed value is estimated at $1.5 billion. Wind turbines in Buena Vista County comprise 6.5% of the total property tax base of the county. http://www.iowawindenergy.org/readmore.php?idnews=71
Comments from the IWEA
· Iowa has not experienced any unusual electric reliability problems
· Electric rates remain low and have increased at a rate less than the US average. (Only 9 states have electric rates lower than Iowa)
· Approximately 20 percent of Iowa’s largest utility MidAmerican Energy’s existing electric generation capacity comes from renewable resources. With their 2011 expansion, 26 percent of their total generation capacity will come from wind. http://www.midamericanenergy.com/wind/overview.aspx
· MidAmerican promised not to increase electric rates thru 2013 because of their success with wind.
· The price of wind cannot be manipulated like oil, natural gas and other commodity prices.
· Wind suppliers and/or towers are located in all 99 Iowa counties.
· Wind turbine parts made in Iowa can be shipped anywhere.
· Wind energy is succeeding in Iowa because it never was a political issue there. Both Republican and Democratic legislators and governors support it.