Iowa projected to add 1,330 energy jobs in 2015

Source: By Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Iowa could add about 1,300 more advanced energy jobs next year, pushing up employment in wind, solar, renewable fuels and energy efficiency to nearly 24,000, according to a report from the Advanced Energy Economy Institute.

The Washington, D.C., advocacy group said advanced energy this year made up 1.3 percent of Iowa’s total workforce with 22,643 workers at 1,427 companies. It’s expected to climb 6 percent to 23,979 in 2015, according to the report that’s based on an industry survey.

Advanced energy employment in Iowa this year was nearly 4 percent lower than in 2013, due to wind energy job cuts, the report said. The reductions were tied to uncertainty about federal production tax credits, the group said.

The report said advanced fuels, which include ethanol, cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel, accounted for 4,737 jobs in Iowa this year, while wind energy employed 3,626 workers. Solar power employed 726 workers, an area that’s expected to see growth, due to tax credits first offered in 2012, the group said.

The largest chunk of jobs — 10,888 — came from the delivery of energy efficiency products and services, the report said. It includes jobs such as insulation installation.

The Advanced Energy Economy Institute is the nonprofit educational and charitable organization of Advanced Energy Economy, a national association of clean energy businesses. BW Research Partnership, a California research firm, conducted the workforce report.