Why Drive Electric Vehicles?

Zachary Fromm, Board Member, Winneshiek Energy District What is the range of electric vehicles compared to vehicles with conventional internal combustion engines? The range of Electric Vehicles (EVs) is difficult to measure because you are not dealing with gallons of gasoline; you are dealing with kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity. The question is the same, however: How far can I drive on a full tank of … electrons vs. gasoline?

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Utilities Board Declines To Hear Decorah Complaint

Andy Johnson, Executive Director The Iowa Utilities Board has declined to hear Decorah’s complaint requesting utility data from Alliant, despite their own staff and the Office of Consumer Advocate recommending they do so. The data was requested by the Municipal Electric Utility Task Force in order to update or conduct a new feasibility study, as charged by the city council. The Utilities Board determined they simply did not have legal

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More Grid Troubles Driven By Coal and Gas Plant Outages

Andy Johnson, Executive Director We wrote last month about the looming potential for brownouts in the Midwest (the story was picked up by Bleeding Heartland). Our analysis showed that the potential power shortfall in a worst-case summer scenario appeared to be driven more by growing fossil fuel plant failures as by intentional coal plant closures or the variability of growing renewable energy. In fact, we suggested, Iowa regulators and utilities should be working

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A Cleaner Grid is a More Reliable and Resilient Grid

Andy Johnson, Executive Director The June 2nd print edition of the Des Moines Register led with the headline “Iowans warned of rolling blackouts”, and utility sources proceeded to make repeated connections between the growth of renewable energy and a less reliable grid. As Mark Twain said: “Few things are more irritating than when someone who is wrong is also very effective in making his point.” Sure, it sounds sensible that

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Cleaner Energy = More Stable Prices and Lower Inflation

With energy costs high and rising, fossil fuel execs and some politicians and pundits are claiming we need more domestic oil, coal, and natural gas in order to tame energy cost inflation. This is about as true as Brer Rabbit not wanting to get thrown into the briar patch. In reality, it is the volatile and global nature of fossil fuels that lead to inflation, community wealth extraction, and even

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School Districts: Apply NOW for Electric Bus Funding

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was passed in late 2021, and the Biden administration released a valuable Rural Playbook to help rural America identify and access funding opportunities. The BIL will bring major investment in many aspects of the clean energy transition that we’ll discuss going forward, but we want to highlight the Clean School Bus Program Funding, which is NOW OPEN. This $5 billion pot is administered by EPA directly (not through states), and

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A Big Waitlist WIN

Andy Johnson, Clean Energy Districts of Iowa Energy Democracy notched an important success in Iowa this year, as the legislature agreed to fund the Iowa solar tax credit waitlist. (solar homeowners: the deadline to apply is June 30th) The Clean Energy Districts of Iowa (CEDI) has been working on the waitlist issue for over a year, since it was clear the 2021 legislature was not about to extend the state’s

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More from the Session: Solar Siting and Energy Codes

Andy Johnson, Clean Energy Districts of Iowa In addition to the solar tax credit waitlist funding, the defeat of restrictive utility scale solar energy siting and changes to building energy codes were both positive outcomes from the 2022 legislative session. “The debate over large-scale solar energy in Iowa has reached the Capitol. A bill recently passed out of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senate File 2127, would effectively outlaw solar panels

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Green Iowa Americorps Team Offers Free Tree Seedlings

In partnership with Winneshiek Energy District members, Kevin and Leslie Sand, our Green Iowa Americorps team created the Tiny Trees Initiative to make Decorah a little greener and help reduce the energy bills of Decorah residents through natural shade. A large shade tree should be planted 20 feet or more from the house to maximize the shade benefit and ensure the safety of your home (source).  If you think you

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Empowering Allamakee County

Jim Martin-Schramm, WED Board Member The Winneshiek Energy District (WED) recently received a modest grant from the Solutions Project to help Allamakee County manage impacts related to Alliant Energy’s decision to close the Lansing Generating Station by the end of 2022.  WED’s goal is to help the citizens of Allamakee County transition away from a fossil fuel past to a locally-owned, clean energy future. WED has worked with members of

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