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More than half of Iowa's power now comes from wind, as state nears 6,000 turbines

Source: 
Burlington Hawk Eye

Despite the global pandemic and recession, Iowa utilities and developers added about 540 turbines last year, pushing the total close to 5,900, the American Clean Power Association says. Iowa's total operating capacity climbed to 11,660 megawatts in 2020, up 13% from 2019, when 44% of Iowa's net energy generation — already a nation-leading proportion — came from wind, the federal data show. ...

Discussions

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Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Apr 9, 2021

Great progress for Iowa in the last decade as it made the move from coal dominant to wind dominant. Next up for Iowa will be solar - a great complement for the wind.

Note: Iowa's last nuclear plant closed in mid-2020.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Apr 12, 2021

The growth of gas here is obviously less than the growth of wind, which is great to see-- I'm assuming the growth in gas is tied to recent new gas plants? Do you know how many new ones are currently in the pipeline compared with new wind projects? That is to say, does the current capital investment suggest this trend will continue? 

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Apr 13, 2021

Matt,

According to EIA data Iowa has 71MW of planned NG additions over the next couple of years and 162MW of NG retirements.

The real key for Iowa and other "Wind" states is gonna be how much solar they add in coming years.

Iowa:

Minnesota:

Kansas:

 

 

Owner NextEra Energy has laid out plans to build the 690 megawatt farm by the end of 2023. 

Nathan Wilson's picture
Nathan Wilson on Apr 18, 2021

Low growth in fossil gas fired generation in a state with high windpower growth is a bad thing, a very bad thing.  It's a comforting fantasy that renewables are all we need for electricity, but the reality is that they need backup from firm generation (which is most cost effectively provided by fossil gas today).  Even if those backup generators are only run once in a while, and can't exist without capacity payments, they still need to get built, as the unfortunate Texans who froze to death during last winter's power outage found out.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Apr 14, 2021

Great progress? Maybe if you don't live there. Two months ago:

"CEO Jim Gossett said he's worked in the electricity business for years and what's happening now is unprecedented.

"Because of the cold weather, in that power market in those 14 states, they can't generate any more power and therefore we are asked to limit our power," Gossett said. "I have coworkers who have worked here for 40 years, and they have never seen anything like this."

This is the first time in history an Energy Emergency Level 2 or 3 has been declared by RVEC's regional transmission operative, Southwest Power Pool."

Western Iowa hit with rolling power outages

Wind - intermittent, unreliable energy at its worst.

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Apr 15, 2021

Hey Bob,

How much nuclear generation was there in Iowa during those days in February? 

  • ZERO

When was the last time nuclear was the source of any electricity in Iowa?

When will we see nuclear generation in Iowa again?

  •  Maybe the mid 30's.  Talk about intermittent !

Instead of nuclear - what will we see growing quickly in Iowa in the 2020s?

  • Solar

NextEra Energy looking to turn decommissioned Duane Arnold nuclear plant into solar farm

Ouch. 

Talk about backing a dead horse.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Apr 15, 2021

Joe, just because renewables ideologues and their fossil fuel friends have been able to shut down nuke plants here to make a quick buck doesn't mean it's happening everywhere, or will continue to happen here.

As you can see, Iowans are losing patience with sources of energy that can't deliver when the sun goes down, or the weather gets a little chilly. Wouldn't you be, too?

 

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Apr 15, 2021

As you can see, Iowans are losing patience with sources of energy that can't deliver when the sun goes down, or the weather gets a little chilly. Wouldn't you be, too?

Not really Bob.. still plenty of wind projects in development and now solar is starting to take off in Iowa - NextEra Energy looking to turn decommissioned Duane Arnold nuclear plant into solar farm

How much nuclear is in development in Iowa - how much will be built this decade? ZERO

By the way, Duane Arnold nuclear plant was shut down because it was costing so much money to keep it alive. There were multiple issues over the last few years with the latest being damage to cooling towers from a "little bit of wind".  No "renewable ideologues" needed.

Joe, just because renewables ideologues and their fossil fuel friends have been able to shut down nuke plants here to make a quick buck doesn't mean it's happening everywhere, or will continue to happen here.

Really? can you point to a country with older plants that has/is not retiring some of their nuclear capacity?

UK? Japan? Sweden? Germany? USA? France?

In particular, France had terrible nuclear performance in 2020 

 

 

 

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Apr 15, 2021

Not surprised you're citing "Environmental Defense Fund", but amusing nonetheless:

"One of EDF’s largest donors is oil, gas and renewables investor Julian Robertson, who has donated $60 million to EDF and sits on EDF’s governing board.

EDF lobbies for subsidies for wind and solar that would directly benefit Robertson and other members of EDF's board of directors.

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is one of the most influential anti-nuclear organizations in the United States with revenues of $158 million in 2016.

EDF is actively seeking to replace nuclear plants around the country including in the states of California, New York, Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania with natural gas and renewables.

EDF is working alongside the American Petroleum Institute (Big Oil & Natural Gas) to lobby against saving nuclear plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania."

https://environmentalprogress.org/edf

"In particular, France had terrible nuclear performance in 2020..."

Must be why the country's President Emmanuel Macron, in December, released a statement citing three convictions that guide the future of French energy:

"Our energy and ecological future depends on nuclear power; our economic and industrial future depends on nuclear power; and France's strategic future depends on nuclear power."

He sounds terribly disappointed, doesn't he? 😃🤣😂

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Apr 15, 2021

Not surprised you're citing "Environmental Defense Fund", but amusing nonetheless:

That must be pretty deep sand...

EDF = Electricité de France

You can follow the monthly nuclear generation numbers from EDF - which also owns reactors in UK. Both countries are down again in 2021 - thru March - from a miserable 2020.

Nuclear generation

 

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Apr 16, 2021

"That must be pretty deep sand..."

Then pull your head out of it! After adding wind and solar French emissions increased, unsurprisingly, because they both increased French dependence on natural gas. Don't project your misery on Emmanuel Macron - his country is setting an example for the world.

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Apr 17, 2021

"That must be pretty deep sand..."

Then pull your head out of it!

Disappointed Bob - I was expecting a  "Never Mind".

After adding wind and solar French emissions increased, unsurprisingly, because they both increased French dependence on natural gas. Don't project your misery on Emmanuel Macron - his country is setting an example for the world.

Misery? 

French emissions - according to RTE - Réseau de Transport d'Électricité - the French transmission system not the Irish television station.  French emission are dropping.  Sounds good to me.

Also, not sure what "example for the world" you are talking about. Do you mean that France - like Sweden - is replacing some of its nuclear generation with renewables?  

Trade one zero carbon source for another - I have no problem with that.

The below is from RTE press conference in March 2021.

The share of nuclear power in electricity generation is forecast to drop to 50% of national supply by 2035, from around 70% currently, as output at 12 reactors is due to end.

The lost production is expected to be replaced by renewable energy, as the first offshore wind farms should be developed between 2022 and 2025, with the aim of doubling installed wind power capacity to 34 GW by 2028.

French solar capacity is expected to quadruple to around 40 GW over the same period, RTE said.

Plus offshore wind seems to be progressing - First French Saint-Brieuc Foundation Parts Arrive in Spain

The vessel BBC Belem left the port of Brest, France, on 2 April carrying the components for two jacket foundations set to be installed at the French 496 MW project.

Construction at the site some 16 km off Brittany is expected to start this year, with full commissioning scheduled for 2023.

No misery from me...

 

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