From Senator Rich Taylor

Written by Theresa Rose on September 21, 2015

IOWA’S WIND & SUN CREATE CLEAN ENERGY

Iowa is a leader in clean energy. Since 1983, Iowa has had laws on the books requiring major utilities to provide a portion of their energy from renewables. Over the years, clean energy has created jobs, boosted our economy, lowered energy bills and made our environment healthier.

Iowa’s known for its wind, and we’ve done a good job of harnessing it for energy. Generating wind power creates no emissions and uses little water. In 2014, Iowa was the top state in country for wind energy, generating 28 percent of our electricity from wind.

According to a report on Iowa wind energy, last year Iowa’s wind industry:

• Supported about 7,000 jobs.

• Included 12 active manufacturing facilities.

• Made a capital investment of $10 billion.

• Generated more than $17 million in land lease payments.

The American Wind Energy Association predicts we could produce 40-percent of our state’s energy from wind within five years.

Solar is also taking off in Iowa. The Legislature approved solar energy tax credits in 2012 to encourage Iowans to install solar energy systems on homes, businesses and farms. In addition, the state tax credit allows Iowa to take advantage of a federal tax credit that also promotes solar energy installations.

Iowa’s solar energy tax credits have been popular. In response, the Legislature has increased the tax credits to $5 million per year and made utilities eligible for production tax credits for solar power projects.

Since 2012, the credits have helped build more than 1,200 projects, leverage more than $50 million in solar investments and create nearly 1,000 jobs for solar energy installers, technicians to service the systems and others.

To see the number of solar energy installations awarded tax credits in our area or to learn more about applying for the tax credits, go to www.tax.iowa.gov/solar-energy-system-tax-credits.

Additional information

This is a legislative update from Senator Rich Taylor, representing Henry and Lee counties and portions of Washington and Jefferson counties. For newsletters, photos and further information, go to www.senate.iowa.gov/senator/taylor.

To contact Senator Taylor during session, call the Senate Switchboard at 515-281-3371. Otherwise he can be reached at home at 319-931-1568. E-mail him at rich.taylor@legis.iowa.gov.

Senator Taylor is chair of the Local Government Committee. He also serves on the Economic Growth, Human Resources, Judiciary, and Justice Systems Budget committees.