Home News Wind Energy Expansion Faces Strong Headwinds Across US, industry Report Shows

Wind Energy Expansion Faces Strong Headwinds Across US, industry Report Shows

by David Mack
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An industry report released Friday highlighted the steep challenges facing wind energy development nationwide as federal and state governments push a green transition. The report — titled “Hawkeye State Headwinds” and published by ClearPath, a group that promotes clean energy and low-emissions technology — is a case study of efforts in Iowa to expand wind production through additional turbine farms.


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ClearPath, which studied Iowa since it is a leader in wind energy production, found that new projects have been slowed in the state thanks to growing local opposition and siting challenges.


“The path to achieving America’s clean energy goals must be economically sustainable, politically realistic, and technologically feasible,” ClearPath CEO Rich Powell said in a statement Friday. “This report highlights how challenging a clean energy transition would be if we put all our eggs into one basket.”

“We should focus on a clean energy portfolio approach that includes wind and solar, and other baseload clean energy assets like nuclear energy as well as coal and gas with carbon capture,” he continued.

In 2021, Iowa generated more than 55% of its electricity from wind sources, the largest share of any state, according to the Energy Information Administration. Iowa is able to produce such a large wind energy output due to the heavy wind conditions that exist in the northwestern part of the state.

However, further wind development has faced large opposition across the state with 16 of its 99 counties implementing prohibitions on the new wind in recent years, according to the ClearPath report. At least 49% of potential development areas in Iowa have been ruled out for future wind projects.

The report showed that, as moratoria on wind development have become more common in Iowa, fewer wind projects have been completed.

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