Campaign for Smart & Affordable Energy
CREATE JOBS: Iowa already employ's an estimated 7,000 workers with wind energy. Studies have shown the installation of just 300 MW of solar energy in Iowa would generate nearly 5,000 additional jobs. CUT COSTS: Iowa could cost effectively save 6.8 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity each year - which would translate to $549 million annually in electric cost savings.
CUTTING COSTS & CREATING JOBS WITH SMART ENERGY SOLUTIONS
SMART INVESTMENTS FOR IOWA'S ENERGY FUTURE
Iowa PIRG has pulled together a coalition of over 40 diverse organizations accross Iowa to identify and progress smart energy and transportation solutions for Iowa's energy future. Our initiative - Iowa Renewable Energy Jobs 2020 - has set a goal of helping generate 20,000 clean energy jobs and save consumers at least $1 billion annually in energy costs by 2020.
How will we get there? By diversifying and distributing our energy sources, improving our energy efficiency programs, and reducing Iowan's dependency on fossil fuels and gasoline.
Iowa has already emerged as a leader nationally in renewable energy. We produce the highest amount of wind power per capita in the country, with 20% of our energy produced by wind. However, we've only just begun to fullfill our potential. Wind capacity in Iowa is 4,495 MW - but we have an estimated total wind resource of 570,000 MW.
In order to utilize our wind resource more effectively, we need policies that support distributed energy production at our homes, businesses, and farms. But we can't just stop with wind - we need to expand local energy production in solar, biomass, and geothermal as well.
This diverse and distributed energy production will help keep Iowa energy secure, energy independent, and economically strong. We keep manufacturing, transportation, and installation jobs in Iowa, support rural development, and generate both energy and funds for everyday Iowans.
Better yet - we can do it in a clean, safe, responsible way that will power our businesses and homes for generations to come.
NUCLEAR POWER A BAD BET FOR IOWANS
Since the meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979, the state PIRGs have campaigned against nuclear power. It's inherently dangerous, potentially catastrophic, and a terrible investment for our country. The nuclear crisis in Japan has become the most recent example of that troubling reality.
Iowa currently has only one nuclear facility, Duane Arnold, but utilities are putting pressure on Iowa's decision makers to build more. What's worse, they want ratepayers to shoulder the high cost and high risk of nuclear power years before construction even begins, with no chance for refund if plans for the plant are cancelled.
Nuclear power is risky, and potentially catastrophic - both to our safety, our health, and our pocketbooks.
This is why Iowa PIRG opposes MidAmerican Energy's plan to put ratepayers on the hook for at least $1,800 per person to finance new nuclear power plants that may never actually be built and will likely cost much more.
Because nuclear power has a proven track record of skyrocketing costs and cancelled plans, investors won't invest capital in it. That's why MidAmerican wants the state government to pass legislation that would force us to pick up the tab.
If plans for a nuclear plant go through, between tornadoes, ice storms, floods, malfunctions, power outages, and the age of facilities — or some combination of these factors — there is no way to guarantee the safety of a nuclear facility.
Iowa has safer, cleaner and cheaper options in renewable energy sources like wind, solar, biomass, and natural gas. We also have enormous opportunities to reduce our energy needs through proven energy efficiency programs.
Iowa PIRG strives to move our decision makers and our state towards a better energy future that doesn't include risky ratepayer investments in nuclear plants.
Tools & Resources
Protect your family and see what hidden hazards to watch out for.
A Consumer Guide to Shopping Around
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
Department of Commerce: Utilities Division
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Help us build the public support it will take to connect Iowa to the Midwest passenger rail, bringing thousands more quality jobs, reduced traffic congestion and less air pollution.