Thursday, May 24, 2007

Iowa Power Fund

Des Moines RegisterWednesday, May 23, 2007

Governor signs bills fostering renewable energy

The state will spend $100 million over four years to aid development.


Ames, Ia. - It's official: Iowa will pump $100 million into boosting its renewable fuel research and production. Gov. Chet Culver signed legislation Wednesday that will allocate the money to promote such things as wind power and ethanol-like improvements over the next four years. Culver called the bill historic legislation, telling a crowd of about 50 people at Iowa State University "Our 21st century Iowa expedition starts now." Said Culver, "This will begin the process of making our entire state a laboratory so that we remain a cutting edge of all forms of renewable energy."

The legislation creates a new Office of Energy Independence. The office will pursue new research investments with government and private businesses, as well as help create an Iowa energy independence plan. The goal is to wean Iowa from its dependence on foreign oil by 2025, Culver said.

Iowa State University President Gregory Geoffroy praised the legislation Culver signed. "We are going to do for biomass what George Washington Carver did for the peanut, and it won't be for peanuts," Geoffroy said. He was referring to the internationally famous scientist, who was a student and later a faculty member at what is now Iowa State. Carver is best known for developing multiple uses for the peanut, including peanut butter.

The $100 million in the Iowa Power Fund will be spent over the next four years. Culver said he plans to name the director of the Office of Energy Independence and appoint seven of the 11 Power Fund board members around July 1. The other four members of the board will be state officials, such as the director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Culver predicted the fund would leverage "hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars" of additional investments in the state from private and federal sources.



The fund will be available to people working in research, development or implementation of new ways to reduce dependency on foreign oil through renewable energy, advancements in biofuels, or energy efficiency. The office that will accept and review applications for money from the Power Fund is expected to be in place around July 1.



Rodney said...

Through this technology Iowa farmer would see higher yields that supports our alternative energy agenda. Through this technology it would help Iowa's water quality issues, improve the environment and wildlife. It would also put back to a degree wetlands that have been drained for traditional dry ground farming with in the target areas or region most effective.

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oliviaharis said...

Chaired by retired insurance executive Fred Hubbell, the board has the authority to extend loans and grants to help boost renewable-energy research and development activity. The board has received more than 100 funding requests that have been reviewed by a due diligence committee. A second installment of $25 million was recently appropriated by the Legislature for the $100 million fund.

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