Support for
has been provided by these organizations and individuals:

John Hennessy III,

Shining Bright: Growing Solar Jobs in Iowa

Posted by Content Coordinator on Tuesday, March 15th, 2011



Can solar energy help build the Iowa economy? This analysis answers that question with a resounding “Yes.” Iowa has almost all the right ingredients on  hand: demonstrated ability to be a renewable energy leader with wind power, a solar energy industry that already employs people across the state, and more sunshine than New Jersey or Germany, both leading global solar markets. Solar is taking off in the Midwest. The industry is creating jobs and economic growth in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, which have passed legislation to drive demand for solar power.1 Iowa can cash in on the opportunity to create jobs and generate economic activity, if supported by appropriate state policy.

This report examines the potential job creation and economic activity that would result from installing 300 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on homes, farms, business and public buildings across Iowa over the next five years. Three hundred megawatts of solar power was set as a reasonable, yet robust target that would have a minimal impact on costumer rates.2 Table 1 lists the megawatts that would be installed each year to reach this goal. Economic output modeling for the development of 300 MW of solar energy finds that in year five of the program, the equivalent of almost 5,000 jobs would be created and over $332 million in value would be added to Iowa’s economy. (See Fig. 1, right, and Table 2, p. 2.)

This report explains the potential job creation and economic impacts of a robust solar industry in Iowa based on input-output modeling undertaken by Iowa State University economist David Swenson. The report also profiles Iowa’s nascent solar industry. The report concludes with a discussion of what policies have successfully spurred solar industries in neighboring states and what policies are necessary to help Iowa reap the full economic benefit from solar power.

Table 1. Solar capacity installation as projected in five-year, 300 MW modelFigure 1. Installing 300 MW of Solar PV Would Create Thousands of JobsDownload full report (PDF): Shining Bright

About the Iowa Policy Project
“The Iowa Policy Project (IPP) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization founded in 2001 to produce research and analysis to engage Iowans in state policy decisions. IPP focuses on tax and budget issues, the Iowa economy, and energy and environmental policy.”

Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Follow InfraUSA on Twitter Facebook YouTube Flickr


Show us your infra! Show us your infra!

Video, stills and tales. Share images of the Infra in your community that demands attention. Post your ideas about national Infra issues. Go ahead. Show Us Your Infra!  Upload and instantly share your message.

Polls Polls

Is the administration moving fast enough on Infra issues? Are Americans prepared to pay more taxes for repairs? Should job creation be the guiding determination? Vote now!


What do the experts think? This is where the nation's public policy organizations, trade associations and think tanks weigh in with analysis on Infra issues. Tell them what you think.  Ask questions.  Share a different view.


The Infra Blog offers cutting edge perspective on a broad spectrum of Infra topics. Frequent updates and provocative posts highlight hot button topics -- essential ingredients of a national Infra dialogue.