Archive
2014
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
2013
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2012
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2011
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2010
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2009
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2008
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2007
January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2006
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
Jan. 03, 2014

Iowa Going Green: What Does It Mean for 2016?

by Ira Flatow

Click to enlarge images
What if Iowa became one of the greenest energy states in the U.S? What would that mean for the presidential elections in 2016?
 
That was a very intriguing question raised by a commentator for Business Insider, who pointed out that Iowa is headed towards drawing roughly 50 percent of its electric energy from wind power by 2015. Warren Buffet's MidAmerican Energy project made a deal with the German electric giant Siemens to buy 448 wind turbines, which will double the percentage of Iowa's wind-generated electricity, according to Business Insider. It's the largest capital investment project in Iowa's history, reports USA Today. Considering that the total percentage of electricity generated from wind in the U.S. was below 4 percent in 2012, 50 percent is a huge amount. Even 25 percent swamps the average.
 
Now add the fact that Facebook is building a data center in Iowa that is slated to be completely powered by wind, and the fact that these energy projects will produce construction and permanent jobs, and you get a situation where renewable energy will certainly impact Iowa's economic future—and potentially votes in 2016.
 
Now comes the interesting part. What happens when politicians flock to the state seeking support for the 2016 elections? Can they say they were proud that certain energy tax breaks, such as a credit for wind farms, expired in December? Will they embrace green energy? Will wind energy in Iowa—a sought-after swing state—bring a breath of fresh air to Iowa politics? 
 
You know what? We may not have to wait for the main event in 2016. Perhaps we'll get a whiff of which way the wind is blowing this year, come November. 

 

 

About Ira Flatow

Ira is the host and executive producer of Science Friday.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

Science Friday® is produced by the Science Friday Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Science Friday® and SciFri® are registered service marks of Science Friday, Inc. Site design by Pentagram; engineering by Mediapolis.

 

topics