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Kavanaugh now expected to meet his accuser at an open hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. Also on the Tuesday rundown: An Albany rally calls for a million solar households; and #GetCaughtReading – a weeklong campaign for readers of all ages.

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Policy Changes Have Sun Rising on Iowa Solar Industry

PHOTO: The number of solar jobs in Iowa went up in 2014 to about 900, while the total number of solar energy-related employees in the U.S. is about 173,000. Photo credit: Phil Roeder/Flickr.
PHOTO: The number of solar jobs in Iowa went up in 2014 to about 900, while the total number of solar energy-related employees in the U.S. is about 173,000. Photo credit: Phil Roeder/Flickr.
February 24, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa - The sun is shining a bit brighter on the solar industry in Iowa, as the latest analysis shows the state continues to gain jobs in that market.

Andrea Luecke, president and executive director of The Solar Foundation, says the number of solar-related jobs in Iowa grew 29 percent from 2013 to 2014.

"It went from 700 to 900 solar jobs," she says. "It's currently ranked 33rd, which is up from 35th in total solar jobs."

The 2014 National Solar Jobs Census also found there are now 44 solar companies in Iowa, most within the installation sector, followed by manufacturing and sales and then distribution.

Luecke notes the growth of solar in Iowa can be attributed in large part to a court ruling and some key policy changes last year.

"In May the state raised the annual cap for its solar tax credit from $1.5 million to $4.5 million," she says. "In addition, a ruling from the state supreme court in July paved the way for the use of third-party ownership of solar energy systems."

According to Luecke, the solar industry now employs more than 173,000 workers nationwide, with growth of about 20 percent expected again this year.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - IA