Future utilities will use 100 percent renewable energy. But how soon?

Excerpt from thegazette.com

Power plants that burn coal, natural gas and petroleum fuels produced about 62 percent of total U.S. electricity in 2019, but accounted for 99 percent of U.S. CO2 emissions, the administration reported. The agency considers electricity from renewable sources, including wind, solar, hydro and biomass, to be carbon neutral.

Boosting renewable energy is the game plan for most utilities, but how will we get there? And are there other ideas aside from putting up more wind turbines and solar panels?

Wind and solar

Iowa generated about 60 percent of its electricity through wind in 2020, with the 34,145 megawatt hours coming from wind turbines in Iowa up 30 percent from 26,301 megawatt hours in 2019, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Some Iowa counties have made it harder to build wind turbines, citing concerns of people who live near the towers who don’t like the way the blades create strobe-like flickering in their homes and interrupt the agricultural views.

A 2019 report by the University of Iowa College of Public Health, Iowa Policy Project and the Iowa Environmental Council said that while the spinning blades might be “annoying,” they do not cause negative health effects, such as headaches or seizures.