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 Green Energy A New Energy Economy

Construction WorkerAt a time when the Midwest continues to experience job losses and a challenging economic outlook, new energy industries in the Midwest are emerging as focal points for job creation. Although the Midwest has lost more than 1.2 million manufacturing jobs since 2000, a number of recent studies suggest that new energy industries can create as many as 1.2 million jobs over the next decade, with as much as a third of those in high wage, high skill manufacturing and construction jobs. Not only does a new energy economy generate jobs, businesses and investments while expanding new energy production, it also increases energy efficiency, reduces carbon emissions, waste and pollution, and conserves natural resources.

Iowa and the Midwest are well-positioned to be leaders in the creation of jobs for the new energy economy. The region has a burgeoning biofuels industry; vast coal reserves that could be used in advanced coal power plants; significant underground storage potential for carbon captured from factories and power plants; considerable wind and solar resources to support these rapidly expanding industries; a well-developed infrastructure; world-class manufacturing capabilities and a diverse supplier base; an internationally recognized work ethic; world-renowned community colleges with exceptional training programs; and universities exploring the frontiers of future energy solutions.

BioFuelsOver the past two years, advisory groups formed through the Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) have been working to implement the Governorsí Energy Security and Climate Stewardship Platform (Energy Platform) that was signed in November 2007. In it they set ambitious targets such as:
  • 2% energy efficiency savings per year, by 2015, in regional annual retail sales of natural gas and electricity, and an additional 2% in energy efficiency improvements every year thereafter;
  • 20% renewable electricity consumption by 2020, and 30% by 2030;
  • 50% renewable and low-carbon transportation fuels by 2025; and
  • By 2020, all new coal gasification and combustion plants will capture and store CO2 emissions, and all regional coal plants will have transitioned to carbon capture and storage by 2050.

Meeting these energy goals will require creative thinking, new state policies, an innovative regulatory framework, significantly higher levels of public and private investment in energy technologies, and a skilled workforce to design, build, install and maintain those technologies.

A new energy economy generates jobs, businesses and investments while expanding new energy production, increasing energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, waste and pollution, and conserving natural resources.

Visit Iowa Alliance for Wind Innovation and Novel Development (IAWIND) at
www.iawind.org
.
Visit the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC) at www.ateec.org.
Iowa Renewable Energy Association at www.irenew.org.
Visit Green Jobs Community of Practice at https://greenjobs.workforce3one.org/.

 
 
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