Airline flights over the midwest usually have passengers craning their necks to catch a glimpse of the wide Mississippi River. The farms and fields of Iowa do not often warrant a second look. However, a new sight now catches the eye over the cornfields of Iowa. Tall white towers with three spinning blades seem to float out over the rolling cornfields. The towers are massive and the wind mill action seems to never stop.
Iowa is one of the leading states in wind power generation. The state is home to over 2000 wind turbines. In 1983, Iowa adopted a renewable energy standard. Since then, Iowa's wind industry has generated close to $ 5 billion in investment.
Through the midwest, energy costs for home and business have been dropping. The wind energy industry wants to take credit for that. There are numerous benefits to both consumers and communities. Supporters claim that wind is a clean and inexpensive energy resource with affiliates businesses supported by the wind-production tax credit. However, some energy sectors are not convinced. They would like to discontinue the tax credit, saying that government spending should fund research, but not the production of components.
Creating wind energy involves new technology, and a variety of new materials and methods. It also involves many different kinds of manufacturing industries. This includes the research consultants as well as the factories and plants that produce parts, the companies that do the building, and, as part of long-term operation, the supervisor or maintenance companies.
Take a look at the benefits of the wind energy industry. These include:
- New jobs in rural areas
- Enhanced economic development
- Reduced environmental impact and greenhouse emissions
- Lower consumer energy bills, while community tax revenues increase
- Stabilization within the energy grid
- Reliable income for farmers.
As a homegrown resource, wind energy creates a new source of income for landowners. Granted that switching to wind energy is a huge economic investment. But it makes sense for those regions which weather includes strong wind conditions. Instead of complaining about the weather, someone is finally doing something about it
The power companies know that wind as an alternative energy source carries an appeal for consumers who support local sustainability. For now, the vertical structures of wind turbines rival only the communications towers. Although airline passengers over Iowa cross two massive rivers, the sight of the spiraling turbines points to wind power, not water power, as the wave of the future.