+ View Section Navigation

Renewable Energy Works for Iowa

Iowa is a leader in wind energy and solar development is on the rise. This is good news for all Iowans.

wind turbine

In Iowa, renewable energy produced by wind turbines provides 34% of the power needed in the state.

The potential for further wind development in Iowa is great.

The industry currently employs between 9,000 and 10,000 Iowans in manufacturing, operations and maintenance, engineering, and more.

solar installer on roof

Solar development is projected to increase dramatically in the next five years. Currently nearly 850 Iowans are employed across the solar industry.   

The Iowa Environmental Council understands the need for clean energy sources and the benefits such development brings to all Iowans. IEC offers fact-based resources developed in conjunction with credible industry experts to inform and assist elected officials, business leaders, decision-makers, developers, and individuals Iowans in important decisions about wind and solar development in their communities. 

Resources

Wind 

Statistics on Iowa's wind development are impressive and continue to grow. View a one-page fact sheet for details on generation, employment, and other wind information in Iowa.

Wind development in Iowa began more than 25 years ago, and today supports thousands of Iowans employed in manufacturing, construction, operations and maintenance, and more. This three part video series, produced by the Environmental Health Sciences Research Center at the University of Iowa, explores the history of wind development in Iowa, the role it can play, and best practices for development in the future. 

Successful County Wind Siting Practices in Iowa provides a comprehensive overview of the best practices in wind siting ordinances in Iowa. This tool is designed to be used by local county staff and officials to aid in developing appropriate ordinances that address safety concerns and other issues commonly encountered with wind development. 

As wind development has expanded in Iowa, questions regarding the health and safety of turbines have arisen. Such an issue is not taken lightly and in January 2019, the Iowa Environmental Council coordinated the publication of Wind Turbines and Health, a paper that analyzed peer-reviewed literature on wind turbines and potential health impacts. The review determines that there is no definitive evidence that sound from wind turbines causes human health issues. 


Solar

Solar energy has the potential to play a significant role in Iowa’s energy portfolio, and has been gaining momentum in recent years with growth in solar projects statewide. The following fact sheet provides details on generation, employment, and other solar information in Iowa.

Iowa Solar Siting Resource Guide: A Roadmap for Counties

In February 2020, the Council partnered with the Center for Rural Affairs to create the publication Iowa Solar Siting Resource Guide: A Roadmap for Counties, which provides a comprehensive overview of the best practices in solar siting ordinances in Iowa. This tool is designed to be used by local county staff and officials to aid in developing appropriate ordinances that address siting, zoning, and other issues commonly encountered with solar development.

IEC publishes fact sheets, white papers, and other resources on clean energy and other topics throughout the year. View our materials