The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Opinion | Wind is the best energy source for Iowa

When considering environmental and economic benefits, it’s clear that wind power is the way to go.
Emily Nyberg
A wind turbine is seen in Iowa on Monday, Sept. 18, 2023.

Of all the possible energy sources Iowa could utilize, wind power is the most effective across the board.

According to The U.S. Energy Information Association, 62 percent of Iowa’s total electricity net generation came from wind in 2022, which is the largest wind power share of any state. Widescale wind power has massive environmental and economic benefits to be seen.

When it comes to clean energy options, wind is blowing away its environmental and economic competition. Other power sources such as nuclear power, fossil fuels, and solar power simply don’t compare.

Wind turbines have many considerable benefits for the environment. The U.S. Energy Information Administration mentions that unlike many other energy sources, wind power has less of a negative impact on the environment. Wind turbines reduce pollution in the air and water as they do not release any carbon emissions, and do not need water to cool down. 

When it comes to other renewable resources, wind power’s biggest competition is solar power. However, according to Regen Power, wind turbines release less carbon dioxide into the air, making them more efficient than solar power. This leaves the competition close to none. 

Wind energy is better than other forms of energy because it does not pollute like fossil fuels and power plants. Wind is also the largest renewable resource in the U.S. According to Clean Power, wind energy avoided 336 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2022.  

Wind power is an excellent direction to go when moving away from fossil fuels, which are largely to blame for climate change, according to Client Earth. When fossil fuels are burned, they release large amounts of carbon dioxide into the air, leading to a greenhouse gas effect which traps heat in our atmosphere. 

Additionally, wind energy is low-cost and now cost-competitive with power plants. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, land-based, utility-scale wind turbines are one of the lowest-priced energy sources available.

According to The Center for Rural Affairs, tax revenue from wind turbines has brought in $57 million for state and local taxing bodies. These wind companies also paid landowners’ $67 million in lease payments. This money has been used to support education, infrastructure, emergency services and law enforcement in local counties in 2021. 

Wind power is actually creating more well-paying jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, wind turbine service technicians are the second fastest growing job for Americans of the decade.

For Iowa, the benefits of wind energy are massive, and wind energy should make up an even larger percentage of Iowa’s energy than it does now.

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About the Contributor
Emily Nyberg
Emily Nyberg, Visual Editor
Emily Nyberg is a second-year student at the University of Iowa double majoring in Journalism and Cinematic arts. Prior to her role as a Visual Editor, Emily was a Photojournalist, and a News Reporter covering higher education.