Report: More than 28,000 clean energy jobs in Iowa

Iowa's investment in wind energy has lessened the state's need to implement measures to be in compliance with the EPA's new Clean Air Act. (Michael Leland/Flickr)
Wind turbines over an Iowa cornfield. (Michael Leland/Flickr)
Nick Fetty | March 23, 2016

Iowa’s economy consists of 28,451 clean energy jobs, according to a recent report by the Clean Energy Trust.

The report found that 67.95 percent (or 19,332) of those jobs are in “energy efficiency” while 27.65 percent (or 7,866) are in “renewable energy.” The list was rounded out by 3.22 percent (or 917) of jobs in “advanced transportation,” 0.9 percent (or 256) in “clean fuels,” and 0.28 percent (or 80) in “advanced grid.”

The majority of renewable energy jobs are in wind (82.35 percent, 6,477 jobs) followed by geo (9.14 percent, 719 jobs), solar (7.96 percent, 626 jobs), and bio (0.55 percent, 43 jobs). The report cites policies such as the federal renewable energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC), the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), and the Energy Efficiency Resource Standard (EERS) as reasons for why clean energy jobs have succeeded in Iowa’s economy.

The report also found that clean energy jobs are expected to grow 3 percent in Iowa over the next 12 months. Small businesses have been particularly effective at driving the clean energy economy in the Hawkeye State with more than 75 percent of companies employing fewer than 25 people.

Clean Energy Trust is a Chicago-based non-profit organization that “works at the intersection of startup investment, technology commercialization, and energy policy.” The report consisted of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW, Quarter 2), the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Jobs Report, the BW Research Energy Employment Index, and The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census. Clean Energy Trust partnered with BW Research and Environmental Entrepreneurs to conduct the survey for the report. Additional support is provided by the Energy Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and the McKnight Foundation.

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