renewable energy

Iowa is one of the nation's top producers of wind energy. (Photo by Perry Beeman/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Environmental council: Iowa utilities don’t need coal power to meet demand

BY: - June 16, 2021

Iowa’s investor-owned utilities should speed up the retirement of coal plants because neither needs that power to meet demand, the Iowa Environmental Council said in a new analysis. The council’s energy and climate policy specialist, Steve Guyer, also said at a webinar Wednesday that power generated with hydrogen, and battery storage of electricity from various […]

Lawmakers end solar tax credits, leaving 760 Iowans out of the money

BY: - May 28, 2021

More than 750 Iowa homeowners will lose an average of $3,200 each after lawmakers failed to extend a tax credit for solar energy systems. The homeowners qualified for the credit when they bought their systems, many in 2020, and had legally applied for the tax breaks, said Tyler Olson, a former Democratic state representative who […]

Biden banks on offshore wind to help curb climate change

BY: - April 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — Two wind turbines, each as tall as the Washington Monument, stand sentinel 27 miles off the coast of Virginia, the nation’s first offshore wind installation in federal waters. The pilot project began producing power last October but is just the beginning for an industry poised for massive growth over the next decade. Longtime […]

New environmental council director eyes action on water quality, energy, climate

BY: - March 12, 2021

Brian Campbell’s new job in Des Moines charges him with helping to stem climate change, regulate pollution from farms and encourage the use of electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar panels across the state. That could be a bumpy ride. But that’s OK, because the electric vehicle he drives is quiet, he notes. In mid-January, […]

Haaland confirmation vote for Interior on tap despite GOP opposition

BY: - March 9, 2021

The Senate is expected to vote within days on the confirmation of U.S. Rep. Debra A. Haaland to lead the Interior Department, despite procedural barriers Republicans from Montana and Wyoming announced Tuesday. Republican Sens. Steve Daines of Montana and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming placed holds on Haaland’s nomination, meaning the chamber now must take an […]


The science behind frozen wind turbines – and how to keep them spinning through the winter

BY: - March 7, 2021

Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power – the winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather. Even light icing can produce enough surface roughness on wind turbine blades to reduce […]

Auditor: Local governments could save combined $375M with average solar installations

BY: - February 26, 2021

If every Iowa county seat, school district and county government installed an average solar energy system, taxpayers would save $375 million over the life of the equipment, Auditor Rob Sand noted in a new report. in the state’s first analysis of its kind, Sand asked local governments and school districts and the Iowa Solar Energy […]

Biden pick for Interior secretary likely to face rocky confirmation hearing

BY: - February 20, 2021

U.S. Senate Republicans may use next week’s Interior confirmation hearing for Rep. Debra Haaland to air their grievances about the Biden administration’s energy policies, running the risk of alienating Native Americans in Western states. GOP Sens. John Barrasso of Wyoming and Steve Daines of Montana sit on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which will […]

Iowa is one of the nation's top producers of wind energy. (Photo by Perry Beeman/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

MidAmerican plans new subscription service with 100% renewable energy

BY: - December 23, 2020

MidAmerican Energy plans to buy a Webster County solar energy development as part of a proposed subscription service that will allow companies such as Facebook to buy power generated entirely with renewable sources.  MidAmerican will purchase a utility-scale solar development under development by owned by San Diego-based EDF Renewables North America. Terms were not disclosed. […]


Biden’s ambitious energy plan faces headwinds, but can move the U.S. forward

BY: - November 27, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden calls climate change an existential threat to America’s environment, health, national security and economy, and has promised a clean energy revolution to counter it. Biden has pledged that on his first day in office he will bring the U.S. back into the Paris Climate Agreement. He also is expected to restore numerous […]


Biden’s climate change plans can quickly raise the bar, but can they be transformative?

BY: - November 14, 2020

The day Joe Biden becomes president, he can start taking actions that can help slow climate change. The question is whether he can match the magnitude of the challenge. If his administration focuses only on what is politically possible and fails to build a coordinated response that also addresses the social and economic ramifications of […]

Alliant Energy to close Lansing plant, convert Burlington facility to gas, add solar

BY: - October 29, 2020

Alliant Energy on Thursday announced it will close its Lansing coal plant and convert its Burlington coal plant to natural gas. The investor-owned utility said it will replace the power with a 400-megawatt solar installation by 2023 and a 100 megawatts in scattered smaller solar installations by 2026. The Burlington plant will be converted to […]