Wind energy benefits

A letter (“Group questions energy policy,” April 20, by Susan Sack) misstated the facts on wind energy and ignored its many benefits.

According to a 2012 Credit Suisse report, wind power is the second least expensive form of energy — only natural gas with recent record-low pricing costs less. Moreover, a recent Synapse Energy Economics report found that adding significantly more wind power could save consumers up to $200 a year by 2020.

That’s because natural gas and fossil fuel markets often experience significant price fluctuations. In contrast, wind power purchase contracts are long-term and have fixed rates. Adding more wind power helps keep consumer costs stable by hedging against unpredictable fuel costs.

Our state has tremendous wind resources, enough to power Iowa 44 times over. Wind is already providing more than 20 percent of our state’s electricity needs without requiring additional backup power.

In-state land owners receive in excess of $13 million in annual land lease payments.

As we continue to develop our state’s wind energy potential, there will be opportunities to export the excess generation to neighboring states. That means added economic opportunity for our rural areas.

By continuing to engage local communities in future transmission projects, our state can ensure we don’t miss an opportunity to be the nation’s “bread basket” of a clean energy future.

Harold D. Prior

Executive Director,

Iowa Wind Energy Association