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Iowa Electric Rates

March 27, 2013

I see from a posting on Iowa Policy Points that electric rates are lower than average in Iowa.

http://iowapolicypoints.org/2013/03/18/wind-power-in-iowa-lower-rates-good-jobs/

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The assertion of the article is that the low electric rates in Iowa are evidence that the heavy use of wind power is advantageous, and does not cause an increase in the cost of electricity.

I would like to share some other information and question this assertion.

Information from the EIA:

Electrical generation stats for 2012 year-to-date thru May 2012 for OH & IA
OH – Coal 66%, Nat Gas 18%, Nuclear 13%
IA – Coal 57%, Wind 28%, Nuclear 10%

Also, apparently the cost of coal delivered for generation in IA is 41% less than the cost of coal in OH.
OH – $2.52 per MMBTU
IA – $1.48 per MMBTU

In comparison to the national average (not just comparing to OH), Iowa’s cost for coal was also significantly less.  In 2012 the national average cost for coal delivered for energy generation was $2.37 per MMBTU.

Question:

Is it possible the advantage in electrical rates that IA has over OH, and over the national average, has more to do with the cost of coal than with the cost of wind; considering IA, and the rest of the nation, is still mostly dependent on coal?

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