Iowa’s new energy plan: More renewable energy, stronger power grid
The Des Moines Register, December 21, 2016
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds released the broad energy report Wednesday that looks at Iowa’s energy needs over the next decade. It provided 45 recommendations ranging from modernizing the state’s electric power grid to improving state tax credits for solar energy.
Reynolds and Debi Durham, Iowa’s economic development leader, said energy is key to economic development and job creation across the state, especially in rural areas.
“We want to ensure that Iowa remains a place where businesses and people want to call home,” Durham said during a news conference at the Capitol Wednesday.
Durham and Reynolds worked with nearly 50 energy, business, farm and community leaders over a year to develop the strategy. It builds on Iowa’s leadership in energy research, wind generation, biofuels development, and agricultural production, leaders said.
Iowa gets about 30 percent of its electricity from wind generation and is the leading producer of ethanol and biodiesel. The leading source of electricity in Iowa comes from coal.
Nathaniel Baer, the Iowa Environmental Council’s energy program director, liked a recommendation that separates Iowa’s tax credits for solar energy from federal incentives.
Now, Iowans can receive 60 percent of the federal tax credits, while businesses can receive half of the federal credit.