The Iowa Power Fund, a creation of the 2007 Iowa legislature and the Culver administration, invested $38.3 million in 31 clean energy projects in the Hawkeye state through September 2010. A new report released by the state details the economic impact and jobs created by that investment and projects the ultimate economic output over the next 20 years. The Power Fund’s vision is of “Iowans creating an economically viable and environmentally sound energy future.” As a member of the original Power Fund Board appointed by Gov. Culver in 2007 and Chair of the Rules Committee that wrote the administrative rules for the Power Fund, I feel great pride in what we achieved, including:
- Average annual economic activity associated with ongoing project operations totaling nearly $22.7 million, peaking at $59.1 million in 2012
- Average annual economic activity associated with construction of more than $84.9 million, peaking at $285.2 million in 2012
- Increased employment, annually averaging more than 200 jobs, peaking at more than 430 in 2011 with an average annual payroll of $7.8 million
- State tax revenues averaging more than $859,000 annually, topping $2 million in 2011 and 2012
The study assesses the specific impacts of projects that have been funded directly, then offers an analysis of the long term impacts when projects are successfully replicated.
Highlights of long term estimated cumulative results from 2014 – 2033 are:
- Economic output for Iowa of more than $40.3 billion
- Cumulative workers’ earnings of $3.8 billion
- Employment in more than 8,487 jobs
- State tax revenues of $475 million
According to the report released last week by the Iowa Office of Energy Independence,
[t]he economic impact study shows Iowa is in a prime position to capitalize on investment in renewable energy technologies such as biofuels, wind and photovoltaic cells. At a time when jobs, economic downturns and unstable energy costs pose challenges to the state, these projects offer an opportunity for increased employment, community development, energy supply choices and the potential to reap dividends on commercialization of innovative energy technologies.
The projects set the stage for growth of manufacturing, agriculture and other economic sectors through future development of the energy industry in Iowa. Successful projects also repay the state’s upfront investment as technologies are replicated.
Total cost of funded projects is approximately $368 million, including construction and other project costs. The Power Fund’s investment represents 10.4% of total project budgets, attracting nearly $9 from other sources for every $1 invested by the state of Iowa. Even the low-range scenario for economic output through 2033 from Power Fund investments made before September 2010 is over $40 billion.
Want a good return on your money? Invest in Iowa’s clean energy economy. It’s going places.