I like to point out energy activities that are positive. I saw that when I read through the Iowa Energy Office material, so I am sharing it. There’s always something to learn from others. Iowa seems to have really thought-through its approach.

What I like:

Iowa’s online material is educational. For instance, the state’s report about energy storage is no dry and academic summary. Channeling a good reporter, the report author has the who, what, when, where, and how of storage. Citizen education is essential for every state energy plan.

Iowa plans for energy diversity. Here’s an example of being open to the constructive application of energy technology. After watching contentious natural gas debates in the Carolinas, I was impressed how Iowa sees the fuel source. Iowa is looking at rational applications for natgas versus discounting the fuel source entirely. One study, for instance, looks at natgas and rural areas. The state looks at energy and economy and the regions of the state in its decision-making.

Energy diversity in Iowa includes workforce development, too. A re-developed workforce is required as jobs in old energy technologies, like coal, disappear.

Iowa’s plan relates to citizens. Check the state’s Green Streets Program (left), for instance. It has everyday language about things people encounter everyday. What seems to be non-energy items, like streets and vegetation, in fact, are energy-related.

Clarity: Iowa’s website’s interactive map about energy projects.

Iowa’s energy plan is clear. No question about clarity of the projects, the recipients, and the funds. Easy to find. Easy to read.  Now to include the results once they are in.

Iowa’s plan has buy-in. I was impressed by the variety of organizations involved in the plan – nonprofit, investor-owned, academic. As I watched the North Carolina energy plan being developed it seemed driven by one elected office and those stakeholders versus a real consortium of people.

Here’s the foundation of the Iowa plan. Worth reviewing.

The mission of the Iowa Energy Center is to support projects and programs that align with the seven key focus areas of the Iowa Energy Plan, which include:

  1. Energy Workforce Development – To expand workforce and career opportunities for workers in the energy sector to ensure the state can attract and train professionals to meet the state’s future energy needs.
  2. Technology-based energy Research and Development – To support technology based-development by encouraging public-private partnerships and innovative manufacturers to develop and bring to market new energy technologies.
  3. Support for Rural and Underserved Areas – To support rural and underserved areas and vulnerable populations by creating opportunities for greater access to energy efficiency expertise, training, programs and cyber security preparedness for small utilities.
  4. Natural Gas Expansion in Underserved Areas – To support the expansion of natural gas infrastructure to rural and underserved areas of the state where the absence is a limiting factor to economic development.
  5. Biomass Conversion – To promote and fund research, development and commercialization of biomass technology to benefit the state economically and environmentally by further realizing the value-added attributes of biomass in the development of bioenergy, biofuels and biochemicals.
  6. Alternative Fuel Vehicles – To encourage growth of the alternative fuel vehicle market, particularly for electric vehicles, and the infrastructure necessary to support the market.
  7. Electric Grid Modernization – To support efforts to modernize the electric grid infrastructure of the state to support increased capacity and new technologies.


Iowa feature image: Photo by Austin Goode on Unsplash