A strong showing in Iowa ... 28.5%

Iowa is in the spotlight today, so it's time for pictures of barns.

     

But to save you waiting up, one important result is already in. Iowa generates a higher proportion of its electricity from wind than any other state in America ... 28.5%.

     

And, according to this report, this is set to rise to 40% by 2020. The industry also "employs around 7,000 people, has 12 turbine manufacturers, [and] has attracted $10 billion in capital investment" in Iowa alone.

It would be very easy for Wales, which also has a population of 3.1m, to do the same. Probably easier, because average household energy consumption in the US is about 11,700 kWh/yr compared with something like 4,600 kWh/yr here.

We are a long way behind them; in 2013, only 6.45% of our electricity was generated from wind.

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2 comments:

green dragon said...

Scotland is probably currently generating a similar proportion of its energy from renewables as Iowa - maybe more even. So there's no question that if the political will is there more and more of a countries energy can be generated from renewable sources like wind.

The figures for Wales are frankly shocking not to say embarrassing. Successive Welsh governments - and the well organized anti wind farm lobby - have a lot to answer for.

MH said...

Scotland is ahead on the percentage generated from renewables (32.0% in 2013, according to the same link) but a good part of that will be hydro, so Iowa might just be ahead on wind power alone, Green Dragon.

I certainly share your embarrassment about how badly Wales is doing on renewables, but I wouldn't particularly blame the Welsh Government. Our poor showing is exacerbated by the fact that Westminster has control of planning. In September, for example, several large onshore windfarms in Wales were vetoed by UK ministers, but would almost certainly have been approved by Welsh ministers.

However one thing that does stick in my craw is that when large Round 3 offshore windfarms in the Severn Estuary and Irish Sea fell through (with some technical justification) no-one from any party in the Senedd pressed for alternative sites to be developed in Welsh waters. This means that Wales will fall even further behind, while offshore windfarms in English waters are progressing fairly smoothly.

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