By Iowa Governor Chet Culver
As Governor of the state of Iowa, I have seen firsthand the incredible growth of the Iowa wind industry. I strongly believe wind energy is one of the most important components necessary to reduce carbon emissions and wean ourselves off foreign energy sources.
We are charting our own course toward energy independence with the creation of a new, state-level office dedicated solely to making Iowa the first state in the nation to be energy independent by 2025. It is fair to say there is no state better positioned, both figuratively and literally, than Iowa to lead a 21st Century Renewable Energy Expedition.
Wind turbines spanning the horizon bear testament to successful efforts by Iowa’s governor and legislature to attract industry-related OEMs and suppliers to their state. The benefits are two-fold: clean alternative energy and well-paying jobs. Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi.
It is also fair to say our greatest opportunity may lie in wind generation.
First, Iowa is situated in the heartland of America, with excellent transportation options—whether by river, rail or road. This gives Iowa businesses an easy and affordable distribution network across the country and around the world.
This transportation advantage allows Iowa’s businesses to move their products efficiently and cost-effectively—24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Second, our natural strengths in education and manufacturing have produced a world-class workforce that can meet any employer’s needs. Iowa’s public and private Pre-k through 12th grade schools, community colleges, and colleges and universities are some of the very best.
Third, our combination of quality of life, safe communities and affordable living is second to none.
Iowa is a great place to live. We are currently ranked as the sixth most livable state in the country, and our capital city was recently named by Kiplinger magazine as the third-best place in the nation to work and raise kids.
I am very pleased the wind industry has already taken notice of everything Iowa has to offer. Iowa is one of only two states in the nation to manufacture wind turbines, blades and towers. Over 5,000 new, green-collar jobs are projected in Iowa as a result of our commitment to wind energy.
Iowa currently ranks third in the nation in wind production. We have more than 1,000 wind turbines in operation statewide, producing nearly 1,000 MW of clean electricity. We are on track to achieve our goal of producing over 2,000 MW of wind energy by 2011, and I have set a new goal of reaching 2,015 MW of wind energy by 2015.
The environmental benefits are clear; and so is the positive impact wind energy has on the economy.
In Iowa, we are moving forward with the amazing opportunities wind power has to offer. We are showing the world that economic growth and environmental protection can, should, and must be complementary interests.
Thank you to the readers of Gear Technology magazine for your interest. I hope you will come to Iowa and take part in our 21st Century Renewable Energy Expedition.
Governor of Iowa