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November 14, 2013

Tilting Windmills in Iowa


Driving through Iowa, I have always loved the rolling hills of corn in long rows through the fields. It's been a few years since I've driven through on I-80, but this year as I was appreciating the beauty of small farms and their trees nestled in between the hills of corn, I came upon a new sight. As I dipped down and then up, I saw something strange poking up off in the distance. It was rotating windmill blades. First one, then another,  then a whole cornfield full of them extending off into the distance. Wow! As I rolled up and down the hills, the turbines would rise into and out of sight. I found they had a unique kind of beauty to them. 
     I asked a resident Iowan about how much wind they get. He said, "It never stops blowing here." The wind energy turbines are a great way to put that wind to use! The farmers benefit from leasing small parts of their land. The energy consumers pay less for power. Wind energy is cleaner than fossil fuel energy and emits much less greenhouse gases. Iowa is only one of several states that are building up their grid with clean wind power. And it is the first state to get over 25 percent of its energy from wind. There are many more benefits to making and using wind energy. It's still a big experiment as to how much wind energy will serve to cut down reliance on foreign energy sources. It will be interesting to watch how wind power develops over the years as an alternative energy source.

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