Iowa Environmental Council calls for State solar push

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

The Iowa Environmental Council has released a report to highlight the state’s solar energy potential in comparison to its current low installation rate.

While average system prices have dramatically decreased, Iowa’s installed capacity is low in comparison to other states of similar resources. Iowa’s installation growth rates are currently behind other states, such as New Jersey with 971MW by the end of 2012, North Carolina with 229MW, and Massachusetts 198MW. Iowa had just 1-2MW installed, despite benefiting from higher natural solar resources. 

The report, funded by Iowa State University and titled ‘Real Potential, Ready Today’ proposes Iowa has the potential to be a leading solar state in the US.

At the height of summer, Iowa has solar radiation readings of up to 7kWh per square metre.

The report also factored in land use potential, using topography and state environmental preventions on land, to accurately calculate Iowa’s solar potential.

Iowa out ranks the states of Georgia, Utah and South Carolina in solar energy generation potential based on land available and natural solar resources.

The report concludes solar energy should be exploited in the state further, due to its availability when electricity is in most demand and prices are highest, as well as solar’s small geographical footprint on the state (Iowa’s rooftop potential alone could provide 20% of Iowa’s energy needs).

The report also highlights “job creation, consumer savings, cleaner air and water, innovation and technology investment and improved stability in the electric grid” as noteworthy benefits of solar energy.

According to the study, the addition of 300MW of solar a year would create 2,500 jobs, as well as save US$4 billion on imported energy.

Iowa already gains 25% of its energy mix from wind power. The report notes that solar is complementary to the wind energy already installed: with wind production favouring night time and winter, solar can produce energy for the state during the day and in the summer.

“Iowans can rely on solar energy when demand is at its highest, during hot, sunny afternoons and solar PV can provide substantial energy all year long,” said Nathaniel Baer, energy program director at the Iowa Environmental Council.

Baer said now people are getting “excited about solar energy” and was becoming common place up across the state at “farms, business, universities, utilities, and at homes”.

With public interest increasing, the Council wants an “overview of the role this energy source can play in the mix of energy options Iowa has”. Iowa’s energy mix is currently sees coal providing 65% of the state’s energy, wind 25% and smaller fractions of nuclear, natural gas and hydropower. The report estimates solar can account for 5-10% of energy in the next ten years as “a realistic target”, in line with other state solar goals. 

The report also highlights public policies encouraging the deployment of solar. It advises tax incentives, utility incentives, loans and grants for projects and third party power purchase agreements, making community solar, interconnection and local or zone permits available.   

Iowa’s largest solar installation to date is the 280kW array at Luther College in Decorah, followed by a 150kW array on a distribution centre near Peosta and a 40kW array at a farm in Lisbon.

19 August 2021
The utility-scale PV market is poised for exponential growth and yet the industry still has many fundamental opportunities to improve on standards and best practice. Tracker shade loss has been one of those topics that deserve more attention, but has been typically handled by derate factors rather than trying to accurately forecast the loss over the life of the system. Join Nextracker’s subject matter experts, Aron Dobos and Neelesh Umachandran, and Rounak Kharait, director of solar energy assessments at DNV, for a webinar about why shade modeling matters and recommendations on what the solar industry should do about it.
25 August 2021
Energy Next is a new industry exhibition focusing on the latest renewable energy and energy efficiency technology, which will be held for the first time in 2021 in Sydney, Australia alongside the Clean Energy Council’s Australian Clean Energy Summit, the peak gathering of leaders driving Australia's energy transformation. Organised by the same people behind Australia’s largest clean energy event, All-Energy Australia, Energy Next will give visitors two days of access to key suppliers in the industry, free-to-attend professional development and industry workshops, and networking opportunities to better understand clean energy issues and solutions and learn about the latest developments in this transformational, dynamic sector.
25 August 2021
The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste takes place in Fortaleza, Brazil. It addresses leading local and international experts on solar power and renewable energy in the region. The Summit’s mission is to provide in-depth education, enable high-quality networking opportunities, expand the use of PV technologies at regional and national level and strengthen the local PV industry. The Intersolar Summit Brasil Nordeste is organized by Intersolar South America - Latin America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry: Solar Promotion International GmbH, Pforzheim, Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH (FMMI) and Aranda Eventos & Congressos Ltda, São Paulo as co-organizer.
25 August 2021
Join us to hear directly from the CTOs and heads-of-research from the top-20 cell/wafer producers to the PV industry today. The event will focus on predicting the key metrics underpinning the next big shift to n-type with answers to the key questions: When will the transition to n-type happen? Which companies will be first to 10 GW capacity and production? Who will be the key equipment suppliers for the new production lines? Which n-type process flow/architecture will emerge as the front-runner? What will polysilicon purity and wafer thickness levels look like for optimized n-type manufacturing? What will the upstream poly/wafer supply-chain look like in 5 years from now?
26 August 2021
In this webinar, JA Solar will present its product portfolio based on the latest technologies to improve your PV projects, ensuring maximum reliability and performance. During the webinar we will receive insight from JA Solar about its solar technology roadmap and how the manufacturer is providing customers with innovative solutions to suit their needs, while we will also analyse how to determine the best product solution for each solar project.
6 September 2021
The 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition will be held online from 6 - 10 September 2021, allowing PV experts from all around the globe to participate with just one click! The EU PVSEC is the world's leading forum for PV Research and Development and the biggest Conference on PV Solar Energy worldwide. That is why PV experts from all around the globe are keen on gathering together each year to be part of this specialist’s event, to present and discuss the latest developments in Photovoltaics, to network and to conduct business.

Read Next

August 2, 2021
ReneSola Power has formed a partnership with UK-based Emeren to co-develop ground-mounted solar projects in Italy.
August 2, 2021
Legislation that would increase and extend the US’ residential solar investment tax credit has secured the backing of a host of solar companies and non-profits.
August 2, 2021
Spanish oil and gas major Repsol has increased its renewable energy target from 5.2GW to 6GW and its Low Carbon generation objective from 7.5GW to 8.3 GW by 2025 after posting strong financial results for Q2 which saw the company largely return to pre-pandemic levels
August 2, 2021
First Solar has lowered its earnings and module shipment guidance for 2021 as the company continues to anticipate elevated shipping costs for the remainder of the year.
August 2, 2021
The amount of solar installed in the US in 2020 was 4000% higher than was installed in 2010, with 8,894MW of utility-scale solar projects being added, as corporate demand becomes almost on par with utilities
PV Tech Premium
August 2, 2021
In today’s installment of PV Tech’s ‘European solar under the spotlight’ feature, we assess the potential and key drivers behind Europe’s leading markets in Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
August 19, 2021
At 9am (PT) | 6pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
August 25, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 6, 2021
Solar Media Events
October 19, 2021
BRISTOL, UK