Iowa has begun a transition to clean energy, such as increasing wind power, solar power, and energy efficiency. The benefits to Iowa’s environment and economy includes creating jobs for Iowans as renewable energy creates more job per unit of energy installed.

According to the American Wind Energy Association estimates that Iowa supports between 4,000 – 5,000 jobs in the wind industry alone, and the potential of job creation from wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources is substantial.

Renewable energy also keeps energy dollars in Iowa instead of exporting them to other states or countries improving the local economies across the state.

Wind Energy

Iowa is a national leader in the wind energy industry. In 2015, Iowa generated 31.3 percent of its electricity from wind power, ranking first in the nation for wind energy as a share of total electricity generation and generating enough electricity to power the equivalent of more than 1.6 million average U.S. households. Iowa now ranks second in the nation for installed capacity and is a leader in wind manufacturing. Iowa is home two AWEA Mapmajor blade manufacturers, Siemens and TPI Composites. These facilities have created investment and opportunity throughout the wind energy supply chain for Iowa manufacturers. (AWEA, 2016) Mid Iowa has identified over 150 supply-chain partners in the region available to support wind manufacturing. The region’s location provides access to the major interstates in Iowa providing transportation connections to Chicago, Kansas City, Minneapolis and Omaha. Mid Iowa possesses a potential workforce of over 300,000. Iowa Workforce Development’s laborshed data, details the region’s Labor Characteristics for Wind Component Manufacturing. Supporting this workforce are three community colleges providing wind energy and turbine technology programs, maintenance and manufacturing programs as well as providing companies with support to develop customized training programs.
MidAM map

Renewable Fuels

owa leads the nation in ethanol production with 43 operating ethanol plants that have a capacity of over 4.0 billion gallons. (Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, 2015) Iowa is second in the nation in biodiesel production with 12 biodiesel refineries producing a combined capacity of approximately 242 million gallons. (Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, 2015) Mid Iowa Growth Partnership’s region is home to eight ethanol plants and two biodiesel plants. Among the region’s plants is POET located in Emmetsburg Iowa. POET was selected by the US Department of Energy for an $80 million grant for its Project LIBERTY. POET’s conversion and expansion of its Emmetsburg plant will allow it to produce 125 million gallons of ethanol and position POET to be the first commercially viable cellulosic energy plant in the world. (IDED) Mid Iowa partnerships anBiofuels mapd collaborations with Iowa State University, Iowa State University Extension, it’s three community colleges, county farm bureaus, NRCS offices, county and state producer groups, ag suppliers and regional cooperatives position Mid Iowa to be ready and respond to the biofuel technology industries emerging needs. Mid Iowa Growth Partnership’s region possesses a potential workforce of over 300,000 capable of supporting the business needs rising from the biofuel industry. Iowa Workforce Development’s laborshed data, details the region’s labor characteristics for bio-diesel and ethanol. Supporting this workforce are three community colleges providing biotechnology and biorenewable fuels technology programs as well as providing companies with support to develop customized training programs.