Blow wind, blow
previously refuted myths.
Wind energy has already proven a
reliable energy source by providing significant amounts of electricity
across major parts of the U.S. Iowa produces more than 20 percent of
its electricity from wind, and when wind energy recently provided more
than 25 percent of the electricity being used across 11 Midwest states,
including Minnesota, the regional grid operator MISO commented, “Wind
represents one of the fuel choices that helps us manage congestion on
the system and ultimately helps keep prices low for our customers andthe end-use consumer.” A 2012 report from Synapse Energy Economicsfound that wind energy can save the the average Midwestern household upto $200 per year.
In2011, wind power contributed 12.7 percent of Minnesota’s electricitygeneration, supported up to 3,000 jobs, and contributed $8 million inland lease payments.
Data and analysis from utilities, thegovernment, and independent utility system operators confirm thatadding wind energy displaces large quantities of fossil fuel use andcarbon dioxide pollution. That’s because when the wind is blowing, theelectricity generated displaces the output of the most expensive, leastefficient power plants. In Minnesota, as wind grew from providing lessthan 4 percent of the state’s electricity in 2006 to almost 10 percentin 2009, electric sector carbon dioxide emissions fell by more than 10percent, or 4 million tons. Utility operators accommodate gradual andpredictable changes in wind output with the same tools they use to dealwith fluctuations in electricity demand as well as sudden outages oflarge fossil and nuclear power plants, which are far more costly todeal with.
Despite critics’ spin, the facts demonstrate that windpower is a vital component of an “all-of-the-above” national energypolicy.
American Wind Energy Association