The Iowa Energy Plan was released late last month and identifies key focus areas “that could positively impact Iowa’s energy economy.” An executive summary of the Iowa Energy Plan was also made available.
These focus areas included:
- Energy Workforce Development – ensuring that Iowa is able to attract and train professionals to meet the state’s future energy needs.
- Technology-based Research and Development – further building upon Iowa’s R&D strengths from its state universities, combined with innovative manufacturers’ and collaborative state and private partnerships to develop and bring to market new energy technologies, such as energy storage pilot projects.
- Supporting Rural and Underserved Areas and Populations – the need for Iowa to further support rural and underserved areas and vulnerable populations through opportunities for greater access to energy efficiency expertise, training, programs and cyber security preparedness for small utilities.
- Natural Gas Expansion – a need was identified to support the expansion of natural gas build out to rural communities where its absence is a limiting factor to economic development activities.
- Iowa’s Biomass Potential – as a productive agricultural state, Iowa has great potential to benefit economically and environmentally by further realizing the value-added attributes of biomass in the development of bioenergy, biofuels, biochemicals, etc.
- Alternative Fuel Vehicles – as fuel economy standards have become increasingly more stringent, the need for automakers to embrace diversification of transportation fuels and vehicles has been amplified. Iowa, rich with ethanol and biodiesel resources, has an opportunity to help the auto industry meet its fuel economy targets, while furthering state economic gains. A growing electric vehicle (EV) market and a build out of its charging infrastructure would positively impact Iowa’s economy by attracting businesses and individuals who prefer EV transportation options.
- Electric Grid Modernization – as energy infrastructure continues to age, capacity is exceeded and new technologies emerge, electric grid infrastructure stakeholders and industry experts should establish a vision for what the modernized grid should look like for Iowa.
The plan was developed after receiving input from Iowans at public forums, and working groups consisting of 48 individuals with energy expertise. Representatives from Iowa’s state government agencies and statewide organizations were also included in the report’s creation.
According to the report, the Iowa Energy Plan consists of 15 objectives and 45 strategies to further Iowa’s reputation as an industry leader. It also says that “Together, these objectives and strategies propose a balanced approach to encourage growth in all of Iowa’s energy sectors while emphasizing sustainable practices, economic development throughout the state, and supporting the research and development required to keep Iowa on the leading edge of energy innovation.”
Click here for more information about the Iowa Energy Plan.
The Iowa Energy Center has been actively serving Iowans since 1990. We support economic development, environmental sustainability and social well-being in Iowa through energy innovation, education and entrepreneurship.
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