A new report, Corporate Clean Energy Procurement Index: State Leadership & Rankings, underscores the advantages businesses that use large amounts of electricity, such as retailers and technology companies, have in locating their operations in Iowa. The new analysis, by the US Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), ranked Iowa as the #1 state out of all 50 U.S. states based upon the ease with which companies can procure renewable energy (RE) such as solar and wind for their operations. Iowa had an overall score of 74.73 – nearly six points ahead of the next state on the list.
The index consists of 15 indicators, broken into three categories: Utility Purchasing Options, Third-Party Purchasing Options, and Onsite/Direct Deployment Options. Iowa ranked #1 in the Utility Purchasing category, #10 in the Third-Party Purchasing, and tied for 22nd in Onsite/Direct Deployment.
The report highlights the growing trend for retail and tech companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Target and Wal-Mart, seeking to locate their operations in states with clean energy production due to fossil fuel price volatility and pollution concerns. The report notes, “that demand for clean energy among retailers and technology companies is expected to increase to 60 GW by 2025, the equivalent of powering over 43 million homes.” The intent of the index is to inform business leaders, helping them focus on the states that are conducive to doing business, and guide state policymakers hoping to attract new job-creating businesses and foster economic growth.
By demonstrating the ease with which companies are able to procure low-cost RE in the state, Iowa has positioned itself to be an even more attractive location for large and innovative retail companies to set up operations, and effectively, create jobs and economic growth within the state. In a statement made after the release of the report, Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds commented on the role renewable energy plays in Iowa’s job and economy landscape.
“Iowa is proud to be the top ranked state for renewable energy procurement by the nation’s retail and technology industries,” said Reynolds. “Access to low-cost renewable energy is a critical part of our economic development strategy. These job-creating businesses cite our access to low-cost renewable energy as a major reason for locating in Iowa. In fact, Iowa’s newly released state Energy Plan underscores Iowa’s leadership in renewable energy and the significant role it plays in our economy. Every Iowa wind turbine means income for farmers, revenue for counties and jobs for Iowa families.”
Iowa’s newly released Energy Plan further demonstrates the state’s commitment to keep Iowa at the forefront of energy policy, with clear goals and strategies to keep energy costs low and further facilitate economic development. Factoring in Iowa’s economic development strengths such as having a low cost of doing business, educated employee talent pool, higher education expenditures in R&D and overall quality of life, coupled with its energy policy foresight, the state has established itself as being well on the forefront of meeting the conducive business climate, energy needs and clean energy choices that retail and tech companies are looking to procure.