The Pew Charitable Trusts “Clean Energy Economy Report“ found that in 2007 Iowa reported 729 cleantech businesses that provided a total of 7,702 green jobs. Over the decade 1998-2007 employment in the Iowa cleantech sector grew by 26.1% compared with a 3.6% growth in overall employment for the state over the same period. Over the two year period (2006-2008) Iowa saw around $149 million of venture capital invested in its cleantech sector.
Three states in the country now get more than 10% of their power from non-hydro renewable energy. Iowa leads the nation with 15.4% of its electricity now generated from wind power, followed by North Dakota, which get 11.99% from wind, and then by California, which gets 10.06% from a combination of wind, solar, and geothermal.
Renewable Energy Jobs in Iowa
Iowa is a leading state in the production of renewable energy from wind, ethanol and biodiesel, and has seen significant renewable energy growth in recent years. In 2009 there were 72 renewable energy companies in Iowa and 3,780 people were directly or indirectly employed by renewable energy.
Iowa is second in the U.S. in installed wind capacity. Iowa installed 879 MW in 2009 alone, becoming the first state to generate more than 10% (currently 20%) of its total generated electricity from wind power. Iowa’s active wind market and strong manufacturing base has attracted seven international wind manufacturing companies to the state. Two turbine manufacturers, two major blade manufacturers and a tower manufacturer have all opened facilities in the state. These facilities have created investment and opportunity throughout the wind energy supply chain for Iowa manufacturers. At least 9 manufacturers in Iowa are suppliers to the wind industry. The state expects to over 3,200 direct manufacturing jobs at major wind facilities. Total direct and indirect wind jobs in Iowa in 2010 numbered between 4,000 and 5,000.
Iowa is the leading producer of ethanol in the nation, accounting for over 25% of U.S. ethanol production, and is second in the nation in the production of biodiesel. One of the first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol facilities in the nation, a 25 mGy expansion to an existing ethanol plant, is being developed in Emmetsburg, Iowa. The state is home to 28 ethanol refineries with a combined capacity of 1.9 billion gallons per year, and to 13 biodiesel refineries with a combined capacity of nearly 260 million gallons a year. Nineteen additional corn-based ethanol refineries are under construction that would enable Iowa to produce another 1.4 billion gallons annually, bringing it to a future ethanol capacity of 2.3 billion gallons.