Iowa’s Message to Republican Presidential Hopefuls: Wind Power Works

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Wind power works in Iowa: the Hawkeye State is the first to generate 20% of its electricity from wind power, while wind power development has created an entirely new manufacturing sector that provides jobs, income and revenue.

That’s a message Republican Governor Terry Branstad, state officials and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) plan to deliver to the media and presidential candidates in the run-up to Iowa’s Straw Poll for Republican presidential candidates this weekend.

Eighty-one 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. Moreover, Iowa voters chose wind by a 3-to-1 margin, as their preferred energy source to power their state, the AWEA notes.

“With Iowa standing tall as the first state to produce 20 percent of its electricity with wind power, the Straw Poll is a terrific opportunity to share the power of wind to support local economies as well as generate clean energy,” said AWEA CEO Denise Bode.

“Iowa is reaping the economic benefits of being a wind power leader because it had the foresight to plant a seed over 20 years ago with the implementation of strong, sound policy. Iowa is showing the nation how it can be done.”

More than 200 wind power-related businesses across 56 counties are up and running in Iowa, contributing more than $5 billion to the state’s economy. Iowa wind farm owners paid $16.5 million in state property taxes in 2010, plus another $11 million in land lease payments to property owners.

Gov. Branstad signed Iowa’s renewable energy standard (RES) into law back in 1983, making it the first state to enact an RES, which requires utilities to generate a certain percentage of their electrical power generation from renewable sources.

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