Letter: Wind energy offers hope for farmers


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Wind turbines create clean energy for people to use.

Lydia Greene

Climate change may seem like a far-off issue happening in places like the Arctic Sea or the Amazon Rainforest, but there’s no longer decades to deal with it. Climate change is happening right here in Iowa. We have been facing record-setting flooding, unusual precipitation patterns and increasingly extreme winter weather. Conditions are even forcing farmers to plant and harvest later, driving down the yield of crops according to reports by the USDA. 

Iowa can’t afford to wait for people to take action at the national or global level. We need change to happen now. There is a lot of work to be done in shifting from fossil fuels toward a sustainable future, but thanks to decades of work we are already a huge leader in this fight — through renewable energy. 

Iowa is second in the nation for wind energy production, generating enough power for two million homes. In 2018, 34 percent of our energy came from wind, preventing the emission of 8.8 million metric tons of CO2, the equivalent of taking 1.9 million cars off the road. The wind energy industry also helps stretch the incomes of small farmers devastated by flooding, extreme temperatures and droughts as well as other impacts of climate change. Many farmers across the state elect to host wind turbines on small parts of their land in exchange for lease payments totaling roughly $2-$3 million across the state.

Wind energy offers immediate resiliency for farmers, and long-term hope in our path toward green, sustainable energy.