Studer: Support wind energy for our future


A wind turbine generates power in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. The turbine is located on the Kirkwood Community College campus. (The Daily Iowan/Rachael Westergard)

Samuel Studer

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As predictions about climate change worsen, it’s becoming apparent that the United States needs to start cutting emissions from such fuels as oil and gas. Renewable resources such as wind power are future alternatives to oil and gas. The problem is the United States does the not have the infrastructure to support this change. Much of the energy used comes from big cities that are not near wind turbines, and a new system of power lines would need to be created in order to move this power.

This would also allow a shift of supply depending on where the most energy is being created. These lines would be bulky and an eyesore. Many landowners do not want these lines running through their property. Many also worry about how these lines could change crop yields. However, these lines would not cause any issues for farmers other than appearance. Lines could be put underground, but they would be more costly. They are harder to build and to maintain.

Companies are pushing for building these energy lines because of the potential future benefits, and they are willing to pay full market value for the properties that they are building on. According to the New York Times, “ Clean Energy Partners will pay landowners the full market value for easements of the land it builds on, plus an annual payment for each structure it build on their property.”

Even though it will be a long process in order to get everyone on board with switching to wind power, it needs to happen.

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Wind power has no emissions and has no waste. In the next 20 years, because of the rising number of people on the planet, we will run in to issues with pollution and emissions. But our wind can offer a solution. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, “The typical 750kW wind turbine provides enough power for 328 typical homes.”

Starting with wind power could help speed the transition to electric cars. Right now, there is a slow transition to electric cars, with Tesla announcing a new model just this week. There are other answers as well, such as in major cities there already is air pollution. In cities such LA, officials promote riding together in order to help fight air pollution.

Iowa can also help to lead the way in this change. According to the Iowa Wind Energy Association, “ Over $9.8 billion of capital has been invested in Iowa’s wind farms and manufacturing facilities. Another $8 billion to $10 billion will likely be invested in the next three to five years.”

What reason is there to not start making changes in wind energy? We need another alternative to fossil fuels. We must have a place for our grandchildren to enjoy and not worry about finding a new home. The lines might be bulky and ugly, but the alternative is far worse. When the United States was building new highways people were hesitant to that change. But today, traveling around the country without them would be near impossible.

Take the time to understand wind energy in your community. Then lobby for change with our local politicians. Something needs to be done in order to protect the planet, and wind energy can be the change we need to see.


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