Iowa: Growing More Than Corn

Iowa Farm Scene

Announcement of $1.9 billion investment in additional wind turbine capacity is a windfall for Iowa.

Published on: May 13, 2013

A Grassley amendment to the Energy Policy Act of 1992 established the federal production tax credit for wind energy. The idea was to try to level the playing field with coal-fired and nuclear electricity generation. Today, the wind-energy industry supports 75,000 jobs nationwide. Under the wind-energy production tax credit, which Grassley has worked successfully to extend numerous times, producers such as MidAmerican are eligible for a tax credit for each kilowatt-hour of electricity produced by a qualified project during the first 10 years of operations. Right now, the tax credit is 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour. "This tax credit is available only when wind energy is produced, so it's tax relief that rewards results," says Grassley.

Calling on policymakers to show additional renewable energy leadership

Ralph Rosenberg, executive director of the Iowa Environmental Council, says MidAmerican's announcement is a welcome development for wind energy, the Iowa environment and the economy. "But announcements like this aren't the only way Iowa policymakers need to show leadership for renewable energy in Iowa," he adds.

"Our leaders must continue their calls for making long-term extensions to the federal wind energy production tax credit. The state could do more to promote small scale, locally owned renewable energy development by adopting utility incentive rates (sometimes called 'feed-in tariffs') to ensure that Iowans who install solar panels or a wind turbine receive a fair price for the electricity they generate. It's also important for Iowa's public policies to encourage development of the state's underutilized solar resource as well as energy efficiency."