Renewable Fuel Production Is a Major Force in Iowa Economy

New study outlines dramatic Increases in job creation and household income.

Published on: Mar 5, 2007

At the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit on February 28 in Des Moines, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association released a new study detailing the dramatic impact the growing renewable fuels industry has on Iowa's economy. Biodiesel and ethanol production and construction of new biorefineries are a major force in driving Iowa's economy forward, especially in rural communities.

"The development of the biofuels industry is one of the most significant success stories in American manufacturing over the past quarter-century and Iowa continues to lead the industry," says economist John Urbanchuk. "Iowa leads the nation in biofuels output, accounting for 32% of U.S. ethanol and 20% of biodiesel production capacity."

Urbanchuk is a director with LECG, LLC, a consulting and economic analysis firm based in California. He is a recognized expert on the biofuels industry.

Biofuels having big impact on Iowa

According to his economic study, "Contribution of the Biofuels Industry to the Economy of Iowa," Urbanchuk found that: "Ethanol and biodiesel producers are part of a manufacturing sector that adds substantial value to ag commodities produced in Iowa. Based on the size of the biofuels industry at year-end 2006, ethanol and biodiesel:

* Add $8.2 billion, or about 6.8% to Iowa annual GDP;
* Generate $1.8 billion of household income per year for Iowa households;
* Support the creation of more than 53,000 jobs through the entire Iowa economy; and,
* Generate nearly $390 million a year in state tax revenue.

Urbanchuk concluded: "Biofuels make a significant contribution to the Iowa economy, expanding the economic base, generating income, supporting the creation of new jobs, and generating tax revenue."

Output will double in Iowa in 18 months

"There is simply no doubt that biodiesel and ethanol production are powering Iowa's economy," adds Monte Shaw, executive director of IRFA. "But what's even more exciting is that the renewable fuels industry will double in Iowa over the next 18 months – and these benefits will double along with it. IRFA thanks John Urbanchuk for his report. When it comes to assessing the impact of renewable fuels, no economist in America is more respected – or more accurate – than John Urbanchuk."

The complete report can be found on the IRFA website at:
Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 26 ethanol refineries with the capacity to produce over 1.7 billion gallons annually. There are 21 ethanol refineries under construction or expansion that will add 1.6 billion gallons of annual capacity for Iowa production.

In addition, Iowa has 14 biodiesel refineries with a combined annual capacity of over 315 million gallons either in operation or under construction. Many additional renewable fuels projects are under development.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state's ethanol and biodiesel producers. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development.