A study authored by ABF Economics commissioned by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA), found that in 2016 the renewable fuels industry in Iowa supported more than 42,000 jobs; generated about $2.3 billion in household income for Iowans; and, accounted for roughly $4.7 billion, or 3.5 percent, of Iowa GDP.
“The U.S. ethanol industry experienced another record-breaking year in 2016 despite a challenging economic and regulatory environment,” stated study author John Urbanchuk. “The environment facing Iowa’s biodiesel industry was more favorable than that experienced by ethanol producers. Both the ethanol and biodiesel industry continued to benefit from a diversification of feedstocks and co-products. Combined, these activities make a significant contribution to the Iowa economy.”
Despite economic, regulatory and trade environment challenges faced by the ethanol industry in 2016, industry experts are hopeful for a more impactful 2017 in this sector.
“The results of the 2017 study clearly show the influence policy consistency and certainty have on industry growth and economic impact,” said IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “Policy for biodiesel was clear and consistent in 2016 and production and economic impact both increased. But trade barriers and low Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) levels stunted the growth of Iowa ethanol. My hope for 2017, with RFS levels set at statutory levels, is we will see more production and increased economic benefit for Iowa.”