Wind is the big energy story in Iowa. In 2021, wind turbines generated 58% of the electricity needs for its 3+ million inhabitants—the highest wind power share of any state. And although the land of corn may be the country’s largest producer of fuel ethanol & biodiesel, it requires massive amounts of energy to make things grow. According to the EIA, “Iowa’s industrial sector, which includes agriculture and biofuels production, ranks among the top 10 states in industrial sector total energy consumption.” For example, there is a heavy demand for propane, which is needed to heat livestock facilities and dry corn.
Sound intriguing? Anyone interested in graduate work in Iowa should take a look at Iowa State’s energy & sustainability research in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the Alliant Energy Agriculture Innovation Lab within the Iowa State University Research Park (ISURP), and the university’s PhD program in Wind Energy Science, Engineering and Policy (WESEP). But you’ll also find internship & on-the-ground training opportunities embedded in UI’s Energy Collaborative.