New Report Finds Broad Economic Impact of Wind and Solar Energy in Iowa – River Cities Reader
DES MOINES, IOWA (September 27, 2022) — In celebration of National Clean Energy Week, the Iowa Conservative Energy Forum is releasing the findings of a new economic impact study by Goss and Associates. Governor Kim Reynolds also issued a state proclamation recognizing September 26-30, 2022 as Clean Energy Week in Iowa.
“Iowa, a Renewable Energy Juggernaut: Wind and Solar Economic Impacts, 1992-2025” is a report intended to estimate the economic impact of Iowa’s wind and solar energy expansion since 1992. An executive summary and full copy of the report are available at www.iowacef.org, and key findings include:
- Wind investment and construction produced $34.5 billion in total impacts, $9.7 billion in wages and salaries, $3.7 billion in self-employment income since 1992, and supported an average of 8,961 jobs each year.
- Renewable energy leads to lower electricity costs for Iowans.
- Iowa’s rapid renewable-electricity expansion has contributed to its lower electricity costs. In 2021, Iowa’s electricity price at $0.092 per KWH was 82.0% of the US average.
- Iowa’s prices relative to the US declined as Iowa increased its share of electricity from wind.
- Only thirteen states had cheaper electricity prices than Iowa, and only Nebraska among Iowa’s neighboring states had cheaper electricity prices than Iowa.
- The ten states with the least expensive electricity prices generated a median of 12.2% of total electricity wind energy from wind. The ten states with the most expensive electricity prices generated only 2.5% of total electricity production from wind.
- Between 2020 and 2025 solar investment and construction is expected to produce $3 billion in total impacts, $669.6 million in wages and salaries, $352.5 million in self-employment income, and support an average of 3,238 jobs each year.
- At build-out of Iowa’s solar projects in the pipeline, the combined impact of wind and solar investments to Iowa landowners and farmers is estimated to be $86.2 million, with $50.3 million related to wind projects and $35.9 million related to solar projects.
- Renewable energy projects benefit local county revenue:
- For the eleven years ending in 2021, the tax base in the wind counties grew at an annual rate of 4.61%; the non-wind counties grew at a 3.51% rate. The annual rate of growth achieved by the wind counties was 31.1% greater than the non-wind counties.
- Renewable energy provides a ripple of economic impact with spill-over into other industries, including transportation, real estate, maintenance, and financial services.
“Iowa is a national leader in the adoption and generation of renewable energy. Our report shows the economic importance of Iowa’s leadership in terms of lower electricity prices, state and local tax collections, and economic impacts,” said Dr Ernie Goss, Economics Professor at Creighton University and Principal at Goss and Associates.
In the Clean Energy Week proclamation, Gov Reynolds notes how the energy sector is a growing part of the economy, and that clean energy is especially important to America’s energy future, stating that there are “over 28,00 Iowans currently employed …….