Jobs report: Wind and solar could employ 18,000 Iowans


Iowa leads the nation in percentage of electricity generated by wind energy at 28.5 percent. (Tom Corser/Wikimedia)
Iowa leads the nation in percentage of electricity generated by wind energy at 28.5 percent. (Tom Corser/Wikimedia)
KC McGinnis | April 28, 2016

A new report shows that Iowa’s growing renewable energy industry could employ an average of 18,000 per year for the next 15 years.

The American Jobs Project, a research collaboration with 10 states on best practices for creating high-paying jobs in the advanced energy industry, shows that Iowa’s already strong advanced energy economy could lead to significant job creation in the wind and solar energy industries. Citing a 2014 study that shows that renewable energy is becoming one of Iowa’s most important economic drivers, the report provides detailed steps on maximizing the industry to lead to more jobs.

The report comes with comprehensive policy recommendations for Iowa’s wind and solar industries informed by Iowa experts including those at the University of Iowa Center for Global & Regional Environmental Research (CGRER). Recommendations for wind energy include further collaboration between investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities, rural cooperatives, and community stakeholders, as well as incentive programs to attract wind turbine assembly companies and localized innovations like small wind tax credits.

For solar energy, the report recommends enabling home owners to take out loans for solar energy that can be repaid through their property tax bill (PACE financing) and policies that encourage distributed generation, especially allowing third-party solar providers in the state.

The full report is available here: http://americanjobsproject.us/ajp-state/iowa/

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