Indiana consumers are getting few benefits from wind-power energy produced here because most is being shipped out of state,
a new report says.
Indiana saw a 700-percent increase in total wind-generated power in 2009, an increase second only to Utah, according to the
U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report.
But the American Wind Energy Association says Indiana has one of the lowest rates of wind-generated electricity use by in-state
The association and other wind-power proponents say all utilities should get some production from alternative energy sources
and are urging renewable energy standards at both state and national levels.
"We need a renewable energy standard in Indiana … because that power now is not necessarily dedicated to utilities
in Indiana," said Kerwin Olson of the Citizens Action Coalition.
Indiana utilities derived only 0.18 percent of their total electricity generation from wind power in 2009, according to the
wind industry report. Illinois utilities got 1.06 percent of their electricity from wind power, while Iowa's rate was
The Indiana Energy Association, representing NIPSCO and Indiana's four other large investor-owned utilities, opposes
renewable energy standards, saying they would force companies to buy power above market prices. That could increase electric
rates, the group says.
NIPSCO currently buys a a total of 100 megawatts of electricity from wind farms in Iowa and South Dakota.
But advocates say wind energy is better for the environment than coal-fired power plants, which produce more than 90 percent
of Indiana's electricity needs but are a large source of emissions of carbon dioxide, mercury and other pollutants.
Indiana and Illinois both produce more than 1,000 megawatts of wind energy within their borders. Only 14 states have that