Climate law brings certainty and new solar opportunities to Iowa

  • Patrick Snell is Associate for Climate and External Affairs at The Nature Conservancy in Iowa.

The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provides the tools needed for more Iowans to unlock the potential of solar power to lower their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint.

These new resources provide certainty and new, growing demand for programs like Grow Solar Polk County that teach homeowners and businesses how to start and complete projects.

By far the most significant climate legislation, the IRA includes approximately $370 billion in clean energy and climate investments over the next 10 years, including an extension of the federal solar tax credit to 30%. Estimates from groups like Rhodium and Princeton predict that the legislation will put the United States on track to reduce emissions by around 40% by 2030. That’s more than a quarter of The Global 2030 goal. Nature Conservancy to reduce carbon emissions by 3 billion metric tons.

The bill addresses emissions in all sectors of the economy, from transportation to electricity to industry. Recognizing the important role that nature can play in the fight against climate change, it also includes an unprecedented investment of $25 billion in a range of natural climate solutions focusing on agriculture and forestry.

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At a time when many Iowa families are struggling to pay their energy bills, this legislation will help Iowans save money. Resources for the Future estimates that the legislation will reduce electricity costs for the average American household by $170 to $220 per year and total energy costs, including transportation costs, by up to $1,025 per year.

The IRA is also ensuring that no one is left behind in the clean energy transition by investing tens of billions of dollars in efforts to reduce air pollution and deploy clean energy and transport. in disadvantaged and low-income communities. The bill includes thousands of dollars in tax rebates to make buying an electric car or upgrading a furnace more affordable for middle-class and low-income families.

The Nature Conservancy’s own economic research shows that the bill will also have significant economic benefits, creating more than half a million new jobs a year and generating significant economic returns. Jobs and increased incomes for workers will be seen in several sectors, including construction, agriculture and manufacturing. And every dollar of federal investment in the bill will generate a return of $1.42 in economic output.

So when can Iowans begin their transition to clean energy? At present.

The Nature Conservancy Iowa is a proud partner of the Grow Solar Polk County program, which brings together 10 county towns to provide a free educational opportunity for residents and businesses to break down barriers to solar power. This program also helps them pool their purchasing power for even greater solar energy savings and has been successful in other Iowa communities including Waukee and Dallas counties and of Warren, Linn, Johnson and Jackson.

There’s never been a better time to go solar. Join us as we work to build a clean energy future that works for both people and nature.

Patrick Snell

Patrick Snell is Associate for Climate and External Affairs at The Nature Conservancy in Iowa.