This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

May 30, 2007

Iowa Establishes a $100 Million Clean Energy Fund

Iowa Governor Chet Culver approved two bills on May 23rd that establish a new state fund for clean energy research and development. The state will provide the new Iowa Power Fund with $25 million per year for the next four years. The fund will support research, development, commercialization, and deployment of biofuels, renewable energy technologies, and energy efficiency technologies, while also seeking to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The fund will also educate the public about these technologies and will aim to increase the demand for them. The $100 million fund will be run by an 18-member board, with oversight from a seven-member committee of legislative and university leaders.

To administer the Iowa Power Fund, the legislation also creates a new Office of Energy Independence. The new office will lead the state's outreach and public education efforts for clean energy and will coordinate and monitor all existing state and federal grants, programs, and policies relating to renewable energy, renewable fuels, and energy efficiency. By mid-December, the director of the office will also prepare an Iowa energy independence plan that will include cost-effective options and strategies for the state to achieve energy independence from foreign sources of energy by the year 2025. The director will provide an annual report on these goals every November and will update the energy independence plan every December. See the governor's press release and the text of the two bills, HF 918 and HF 927.

The effort will complement a bill signed in April, establishing the Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council to consider and determine the best strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the state. It also establishes a greenhouse gas inventory and registry within the state. See the governor's press release and the text of the bill, SF 485.