Clean Energy Choices for Iowa
Wind Power Grows, Iowa Electric Rates Fall
Iowa electric rates below national average, state historical levels


Printable version of this news release IPP backgrounder
IOWA CITY, Iowa (March 30, 2017) — Iowa produces more electricity from wind per capita than any other state, and has lower average electric rates than when the industry started.

The Iowa Policy Project (IPP) today released findings that show the state's leadership in renewable energy production has not come at great expense to ratepayers.

“This is one more success story for clean energy,” said David Osterberg, lead environmental researcher and founder of the nonpartisan organization. “As the wind industry has grown, the price per kilowatt hour continues to be significantly lower than the U.S. average.

“In fact, the price is actually lower in real terms in Iowa when you account for inflation. Electricity costs less than it did when the industry got going in Iowa.” Osterberg said the electric price data show that since the first large wind farms were connected to the electric grid in 1999, Iowa's average electricity prices have diverged further and further from the national average.

“Contrary to some of the warnings we heard two decades ago, the growth of wind power to 36 percent of the electricity we use in Iowa has not hurt our competitiveness in attracting businesses. It has not hurt our efforts to keep household spending for electricity under control,” he said.

“It may well be that wind power is an important economic development tool for Iowa at the moment, because we know companies pay attention to what they pay for energy.” Osterberg cautioned that “we do not want to make more of this data than is appropriate,” as the U.S. Energy Information Agency data compare the price of electricity consumed with the percentage of electricity produced.”

“But it gives us a reason to consider the prospects for another promising energy source — solar energy, which can help both homeowners and small businesses if public policy permits,” Osterberg said.

The report is available on the Iowa Policy Project website at

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The report is available on the Iowa Policy Project website at