Thursday, June 13, 2013

MidAmerican wind project property tax update coming

And also some other interesting stories to check of course! 

Iowa’s elected officials keep bragging about our state leading in renewable energy (we do have some wind energy installed here).  I found this story that lists per capita co2 emissions by state. Iowa is the ninth highest in co2 emissions, even though some days wind turbines generate an equivalent of 20% of our electrical load.  

 So what’s up? I’ve heard in the renewable energy circles for a while that a lot of Iowa wind electricity is exported to surrounding states to serve their renewable energy mandates. A number of surrounding states score better on this chart than we Iowegians, so maybe there’s something to that.  Can anyone send some data my way on this? Since the Midwest can be cost effectively powered by renewables (credit Ed W), it’s kind of sad that none of Midwest states rank very well on this chart.  Looks like a strong local ownership renewables program would keep more of our wind generation in this state benefitting Iowans instead of our neighbors.  

Germany’s wind and solar is heavily owned by farmers and citizens, not utilities. In this post, Frances Moore Lappe notes -   “Something is working in Germany. But why is it working? For me, Germany demonstrates that sane steps to carbon freedom are possible where democracy functions -- where private industry is not in control of public policy. Consider this: In a recent global study of the effectiveness of laws governing money's role in politics, on a scale of 100 Germany scored highest at 83.
And the U.S.? We tied Tajikistan for the sad score of 29.”
Ouch! Though I’ve told fellow energy advocates for quite a while that campaign fund disclosure would help a lot of the issues they work on. She goes on to mention – “Private and corporate contributions are not limited but transparency laws are strict: Contributions of more than 10,000 euro per year must be disclosed.” I just love it when a story reinforces something I believe. Quite different from the “spooky pac” scene in the U.S. 

And finally, David Roberts at has posted a mini- series on how the utility industry and the agencies that regulate them function, and how they need to change to address climate change .  He realizes how boring this issue can be to non-energy wonks, so he has included cute photos of wildlife to keep readers awake.       

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