MASON CITY – Senator Amanda Ragan of Mason City says solar energy can create more good jobs in Iowa.
Senator Ragan, in a legislative update, said this week that “Iowa is known across the country as a leader in renewable energy, including ethanol, biodiesel and wind. These industries are built on Iowa’s natural resources and benefit Iowans through lower energy costs, increased crop values and new jobs. In 2016 alone, Iowa jobs in clean energy grew by 7 percent.
“Solar energy holds even more promise for Iowa. The sun that helps grow our crops also can power homes, farms and businesses.”
Earlier this week, President Trump announced a 20% tariff on solar products coming into the U.S. from overseas. Back in 2016, the Mason City library installed a very successful solar plant on the roof of that facility, saving the City thousands of dollars in utility costs, even after the mayor and City Council rejected the idea previously. Prior to that rejection, in 2013, former Hawkeye great and NFL star Tim Dwight visited the Mason City library to educate local rubes on the benefits of solar.
“Since 2012, Iowans have installed more than 2,500 solar projects in all of Iowa’s 99 counties,” Ragan continued. “These projects lower energy costs and raise property values, with rural counties leading the way. Many Iowa utilities recognize the appeal of solar and are making it a viable option for their customers. More than 700 Iowans now work in the solar field, and 47 Iowa businesses are part of the solar energy supply chain.
“The demand for solar presents Iowa with continued opportunities for growth. We can do our part by ensuring Iowans have the knowledge to grow the industry and the skills to fill the jobs.”
To learn more about the benefits of solar energy and how you can install it and use it, visit the Iowa Solar Energy Trade Association website.