The Wall Street Journal reports that Iowa has become the second largest producer of wind power in the U.S.. Tax breaks, cost recovery assurance and few zoning regulations for wind turbines are cited as reasons for the ranking.
At the end of the second quarter of 2009, Iowa had 3,043 megawatts of total wind capacity, compared with 8,361 megawatts in Texas and 2,787 megawatts in California, according to the wind-energy association. The article continues by saying that Iowa is flat landscape and lies in an enviable position on the grid - close to load centers like Chicago and Milwaukee.
Power transmission is now the road block to continued success in Iowa. Roya Stanley, Director of the Iowa Office of Energy Independence said "While we still have some room on the grid in the state, it will be critical to have agreement regionally for further transmission build-out."
The WSJ also has a very interesting article on Five Technologies that Could Change the Energy Picture. It discusses space-based solar power, advanced car batteries, utility storage, carbon capture and storage, and next-generation biofuels.