While much of the nation’s economy is on shaky ground right now, places in the Midwest, such as Iowa, seem to be doing all right… thanks to wind energy and biofuels, such as biodiesel and ethanol.
This story from the Burlington (IA) Hawk Eye says Mike Tramontina, director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development, recently told a group in Fort Madison that the state is fortunate to be on the cutting edge of the alternative energy market:
While some industries such as housing and auto have taken nosedives, that has been offset by industries dealing with infrastructure, energy and bio-technology, he said.
Tramontina touted the Siemens windmill blade manufacturing plant in Fort Madison.
“If we could actually be lucky enough to keep our economy going and diversify moving into new industries like the new wind industry, into the new bio-fuels industry, into the new bio-economy and sciences industry … maybe we have a chance to absorb some of the workers we see coming out of some of the companies we are seeing out of housing, financial services automobiles and their supply chains,” he said.
Tramontina said the nation’s economy is shifting from an oil-based to a greener bio-based economy, that Iowa is primed to capitalize on.
Iowa now exports more ethanol than it uses, he added.
Tramontina admits that the high price of corn and soybeans has taken a bit of the wind out of the ethanol and biodiesel industries’ sails. But he expects they will come up with new innovations and increased efficiency to help keep them viable.