A Cleaner Grid is a More Reliable and Resilient Grid

Andy Johnson, Executive Director The June 2nd print edition of the Des Moines Register led with the headline “Iowans warned of rolling blackouts”, and utility sources proceeded to make repeated connections between the growth of renewable energy and a less reliable grid. As Mark Twain said: “Few things are more irritating than when someone who is wrong is also very effective in making his point.” Sure, it sounds sensible that

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Cleaner Energy = More Stable Prices and Lower Inflation

With energy costs high and rising, fossil fuel execs and some politicians and pundits are claiming we need more domestic oil, coal, and natural gas in order to tame energy cost inflation. This is about as true as Brer Rabbit not wanting to get thrown into the briar patch. In reality, it is the volatile and global nature of fossil fuels that lead to inflation, community wealth extraction, and even

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School Districts: Apply NOW for Electric Bus Funding

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was passed in late 2021, and the Biden administration released a valuable Rural Playbook to help rural America identify and access funding opportunities. The BIL will bring major investment in many aspects of the clean energy transition that we’ll discuss going forward, but we want to highlight the Clean School Bus Program Funding, which is NOW OPEN. This $5 billion pot is administered by EPA directly (not through states), and

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A Big Waitlist WIN

Andy Johnson, Clean Energy Districts of Iowa Energy Democracy notched an important success in Iowa this year, as the legislature agreed to fund the Iowa solar tax credit waitlist. (solar homeowners: the deadline to apply is June 30th) The Clean Energy Districts of Iowa (CEDI) has been working on the waitlist issue for over a year, since it was clear the 2021 legislature was not about to extend the state’s

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More from the Session: Solar Siting and Energy Codes

Andy Johnson, Clean Energy Districts of Iowa In addition to the solar tax credit waitlist funding, the defeat of restrictive utility scale solar energy siting and changes to building energy codes were both positive outcomes from the 2022 legislative session. “The debate over large-scale solar energy in Iowa has reached the Capitol. A bill recently passed out of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senate File 2127, would effectively outlaw solar panels

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Green Iowa Americorps Team Offers Free Tree Seedlings

In partnership with Winneshiek Energy District members, Kevin and Leslie Sand, our Green Iowa Americorps team created the Tiny Trees Initiative to make Decorah a little greener and help reduce the energy bills of Decorah residents through natural shade. A large shade tree should be planted 20 feet or more from the house to maximize the shade benefit and ensure the safety of your home (source).  If you think you

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Empowering Allamakee County

Jim Martin-Schramm, WED Board Member The Winneshiek Energy District (WED) recently received a modest grant from the Solutions Project to help Allamakee County manage impacts related to Alliant Energy’s decision to close the Lansing Generating Station by the end of 2022.  WED’s goal is to help the citizens of Allamakee County transition away from a fossil fuel past to a locally-owned, clean energy future. WED has worked with members of

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Energy Lunch Recap: Renewable Hydrogen in Iowa

by Nicholas Romano, Green Iowa Corps Education Coordinator Ideal Energy A leader in Iowa solar industries since 2009, Ideal Energy has engaged in solar installation, financing, power purchasing agreements, battery storage, and now research into the Gren Hydrogen arena. Amy Vanbeek  and Troy Vanbeek co-founded Ideal Energy after recognizing the need for renewable energy based on the world’s reliance on finite carbon-based energy sources. Now they are piloting the production

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Energy Bills Rising: Black Hills

by Joel Zook, Energy Planner We’ve been asked recently why Black Hills natural gas bills are rising and continue to rise when the rate increase was a one-time deal, and was reported to be a relatively small one. The answer is complicated, but we’ll try to explain. Here are three take-aways: Yes, Black Hills recently raised their rates However, the larger impact on your home or business’s bills is due

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Energy Bills Rising: Alliant

by Andy Johnson, Executive Director We’ve been asked recently why Alliant electric bills seem to keep rising, despite the fact that the last rate case was in 2019 (with the final order approving the rate hike in early 2020). The answer is complicated, but we’ll try to explain. Here are five key take-aways: Yes, Alliant rates are near the top in the state The rate increase approved in 2020 was

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