Thursday, March 4, 2010

Study: Iowa wind energy keeps electric rates low (remind me again why Michigan can't do this?)

Wind energy too expensive? Don't tell Iowans.

A new study shows that Iowa has much lower electricity rates than Michigan and the nation despite its aggressive buildout of wind power:

The writer confuses installed (potential) capacity with actual wind generation, but doesn't screw up the money line: "The study found that Iowans paid about 6 cents per kilowatt hour in 1998. That climbed to 7 cents per kilowatt hour by 2008. Over the same time period, national average electricity costs went from 7 cents per kilowatt hour to nearly 10 cents."

Studies show Iowa has the 10th best wind energy potential among states. Michigan is close behind with the 14th best wind potential. Yet Iowa has 25 times more installed wind capacity than Michigan! TWENTY FIVE TIMES MORE THAN MICHIGAN.

Michigan took a big step in 2008 with the passage of a renewable energy standard requiring 10 percent of utility electricity to be generated from renewable sources like wind by 2015. But as Iowa clearly shows, we can do better.

New proposals on the way to the Michigan Legislature would increase that 10 percent standard, and strengthen Michigan's transition to wind and other forms of nonpolluting energy.

Look for that legislation soon. 

Also look for the coal-addicted utility companies and their lobbyists to try and scare the hell out of anyone who will listen. They'll tell you your rates will skyrocket with wind power, leaving you a broken, penniless pauper. Iowans know better.



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