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July 2013 Policy Study, Number 13-5


Electricity – Make It, Use It – 24/7/365

Review of Electrical Grid Issues


Iowa Specific Electricity Sources



According to the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB), coal provides 47 percent of our electricity capacity, wind 23 percent, natural gas 17, fuel oil/petroleum 7, nuclear 4, and hydro only 0.8 percent.


In terms of actual generation, coal jumped up to 72 percent, with wind dropping to 16, followed by nuclear at 8 percent. The other sources were all below five percent of the actual electricity provided. In total 57.5 million megawatts of electricity were generated in Iowa in 2010.[13]


Thus, though wind could provide one-fourth of our electricity, in reality it is less than one-fifth. This is because of the intermittent and uncontrollable nature of wind power, combined with transmission, distribution, and storage issues.




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