Earlier this week, a new report by the US Department of Energy showed that costs continue to decline while turbine technology becomes more efficient. All of this, along with the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, means wind energy is having a moment.
Iowa is smack dab in the middle of the 'wind belt,' the central corridor that lies between northern Minnesota and Amarillo, Texas and provides the greatest potential for wind energy generation. P. Barry Butler is the Executive Vice President and Provost at the University of Iowa. He co-chaired a research and development committee for the American Wind Energy Association and participated on a Wind Visioning Committee with the U.S. Department of Energy. He says Iowa isn't just impressive in the context of the U.S., it would be a world leader if it were a country.
"It's probably about 10th or 12th on the list. And the projections show that Iowa has the capacity to go even higher. The numbers seem to point towards having 40% of electrical generation from wind is very doable."
During this River to River interview, host Ben Kieffer talks with Butler about the President's new plan, the hurdles to wind energy production and what's next for wind energy in Iowa.