Iowa moves up to second in installed wind capacity

Iowa moved into second place in 2008 in terms of wind power generating capacity, according to this press release from the American Wind Energy Association. (Hat tip to the person who put this link on the Iowa Renewable Energy Association’s e-mail loop.)

Last year Iowa dropped to fourth in wind energy capacity, behind Texas, California and Minnesota. Now Iowa trails only Texas.

2008 was a banner year for the wind energy industry as a whole. More facts and figures can be found in the American Wind Energy Association release, which I’ve posted after the jump.

The renewable energy tax credit has helped promote installations of wind turbines around the country. It was scheduled to expire on January 1, 2010. However, a three-year extension to that tax credit was added to the economic stimulus package the House of Representatives is voting on today.

Congressman Bruce Braley (IA-01) has introduced a bill to extend the renewable energy tax credit for seven years. That bill is currently under consideration by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Extending this tax credit is a no-brainer. It helps the environment by increasing the production of clean, renewable energy, and it creates jobs by increasing demand for products like wind turbines and solar panels.

In addition to offering tax credits, the federal government could help expand wind power capacity by investing in more transmission lines and adopting an ambitious renewable electricity standard (for instance, requiring that 20 percent of our electricity come from clean, renewable sources by 2020).

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