Iowa May See Blackouts Summer 2022

Via Flickr

Josie Taylor | June 2, 2022

Iowans and other Midwestern residents could experience energy blackouts this summer if extreme heat and spiking demand coincide with insufficient power.

This warning was made by North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC), a Georgia-based regulatory authority, and it prompted state regulators to question utilities on how they would handle controlled outages. Iowa and 14 other states are at high risk of “energy emergencies during peak summer conditions,” NERC said.

Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) told utilities whose power grid it serves, including the majority of those in Iowa, that it expects summer demand to increase 1.7% over last summer. 

Iowa utility leaders told state regulators they anticipate having enough energy to meet consumer demand for electricity. If MISO calls for reducing energy use, they have plans in place to comply.

While the greatest risk of summer outages is in the Midwest, most of the western U.S. will be at moderate risk, NERC said. That forecast includes Southwest Power Pool, another grid operator that includes part of western Iowa.

Derecho Knocks out Power for Iowans

Maxwell Bernstein | August 12, 2020

On Monday, 112 mph wind gusts swept across the Midwest, creating damage and leaving over 1 million homes and businesses without power, with 400,000-plus occurring in Iowa, according to The Weather Channel

The wind gust, also known as a derecho, knocked out power, destroyed farms, damaged roofs, and killed a biker outside of Cedar Rapids. The derecho knocked out large chunks of the power grid, which affected 97% of Linn County, according to the Des Moines Register

As of today, nearly 150,000 MidAmerican Energy customers and 180,000 Alliant Energy customers are without power, according to KCCI Des Moines.  

KCCI provides a list of resources for Iowans who are affected by the derecho.

On the Radio: Iowa and Global Renewable Energy

Wind turbines near Hampton, Iowa. Photo by Theodore Scott (Flickr)
Wind turbines near Hampton, Iowa. Photo by Theodore Scott (Flickr)

This week’s On the Radio segment takes a look at how Iowa stacks up against the rest of the world in renewable energy investments and innovations. Listen to the audio below, or continue reading for the transcript.


Script: Global Renewable Energy

While Iowa has been a front-runner in wind energy production, a new report suggests that the rest of the world has lagged behind in adopting renewable energy practices to reduce climate change.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

A new report by the International Energy Agency states that each year about 1.6 trillion dollars is invested in global energy supply. However the Energy Agency said this investment would need to increase by about 400 billion dollars to effectively combat global rises in temperature.

Iowa has been proactive in investing in renewable energy resources which has attracted tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft to the state.

Iowa is number one in the nation for percentage of electricity generated by wind energy and is third – behind Texas and California – in the quantity of wind energy produced. In 2014, Iowa had installed more than 5000 megawatts of wind power capacity.

Climate scientists hope that a global agreement on climate change will be reached when government leaders convene in Paris at the end of 2015.

To read the full report, visit Iowa Environmental

From the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, I’m Nick Fetty.

For more information, visit:,86205,en.html

On the Radio: University of Iowa utilizes biomass for energy needs

Oat hulls are used as an alternative fuel source.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s episode highlights the University of Iowa’s efforts to utilize biomass as an alternative fuel source.

By using biomass, the University of Iowa has lowered greenhouse gas emissions, reduced fuel costs and gained recognition.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Continue reading

On the Radio: Using vacation time to save energy

Photo by Robby Ryke, Flickr

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s segment offers a number of suggestions on how to conserve energy while on vacation. Continue reading