Iowa Power Fund off to a slow start

Former Iowa governor Chet Culver tours the labs at Iowa State University. Photo courtesy of Governor Chet Culver, Flickr.

The Iowa Power Fund, a program for renewable energy research created by former governor Chet Culver, has only spent a fraction of the planned $100 million in the five years since its creation, according to a review by the Associated Press.

The program was originally intended to help Iowa “become the silicon prairie of the Midwest” by investing in ethanol and wind energy to reduce pollution, reduce the state’s need for foreign oil, and create new jobs. However only $23 million has been spent so far, and many of the fund’s projects are still facing difficulties.

In an interview today Culver defended the fund, saying that the slow start was evidence of the fund’s board carefully vetting projects.

“We’re not just blindly throwing money at ideas. They have to prove the concept. They have to show us progress. And I think that’s actually a good thing that we have been conservative in terms of that money actually going out the door,” he said. “The power fund members can tell you, they have a very high standard. Some companies have met it and others have not.”

For more information, read the full article at the Des Moines Register.

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