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State releases energy independence plan

Dec 23, 2008 - The Associated Press

Iowa's Office of Energy Independence released it's second annual energy plan on Tuesday, calling for private-sector investment in renewable energy and job creation.

Recommendations in the 2008 Plan for Energy Independence, will help Iowa stay a national leader in renewable energy, said Roya Stanley, director of the agency.

"Investing in the renewable energy economy will help us weather the economic challenges, and prepare us for a brighter, stronger future," she said.

The Office of Energy Independence issued its first annual energy plan in fall of 2007. Since then, officials said it has received more than 160 applications proposing nearly $1 billion in private-sector investment.

The 2008 plan highlights energy efficiency, including expanding energy education, supporting workforce development and making energy efficiency among the highest priority for utilities.

It also puts an emphasis on renewable energy, including calling for the promotion of wind energy and development of a biomass industry in Iowa.

In addition, the plan makes biofuels recommendations including enhancing the viability of the industry and supporting the development of biorefineries.

Gov. Chet Culver said research and development into energy efficiency, renewable energy, and next-generation biofuels is leading to job growth in every corner of Iowa.

"Iowa's natural resources, innovation, and work ethic provide a solid foundation for us to lead in this new energy economy," he said in a statement.