New report shows Iowa leadership in decade of U.S. renewable energy progress

Media Contacts
Emma Searson

Environment Iowa Research & Policy Center

Iowa ranks fourth in the nation for growth in wind energy production since 2010, according to a new report released today by Environment Iowa Research & Policy Center. The project, Renewables on the Rise 2020, documents and compares the growth of five key clean energy technologies in each state over the past decade: solar power, wind power, battery storage, energy efficiency and electric vehicles. Iowa’s wind power production has nearly tripled since 2010.

“A decade ago, windmills powering towns may have seemed like a wild fantasy, but the growth in Iowa and other states like it are proving this clean energy dream is on its way to becoming a reality,” said Searson, 100% Renewable campaign director with Environment Iowa Research & Policy Center. “The gains Iowa has seen in wind energy should give state leaders the confidence to aim even higher and continue picking up the pace.” 

Thanks in large part to its high-ranking growth in wind power production, Iowa also ranks second in the nation for total wind and solar generation as a percentage of the state’s electricity consumption. However, The Hawkeye State is lagging behind most when it comes to growth in solar energy and battery storage, energy efficiency improvements and electric vehicle adoption.

In addition to highlighting states that have made the most progress in adopting renewable energy technologies, the study also shows the rapid gains achieved overall nationally. In 2019, the U.S. produced 30 times more solar power and more than triple the amount of wind energy than it did in 2010. In addition to the growth in renewable energy, utility scale battery storage increased 20-fold since 2010, energy consumption per person declined thanks to improvements in energy efficiency, and more than one million electric vehicles were sold in the U.S. 

“This project offers a timely reminder that clean energy technologies have risen to the occasion, and are already delivering for millions of Americans and Iowans,” Searson said. “We are so much closer to the clean, renewable energy future we need than we were ten years ago, and we should keep working to ensure that the next decade brings us even further.”


Environment Iowa Research & Policy Center is dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces. We work to protect the places we love, advance the environmental values we share, and win real results for our environment. For more information, visit