Renewable Fuels Impact on the Iowa Economy

Contribution of the Renewable Fuels Industry to the Economy of Iowa

By John Urbanchuk, Managing Partner, ABF Economics

January 31, 2017

 Prepared for the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association

“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.”

Renewable Fuels Keep Iowa Moving Forward

Based on its size and scope, the renewable fuels industry has the following impacts on Iowa’s economy:

  • Accounts for more than $4.7 billion, or about 3.5%, of Iowa GDP;
  • Generates $2.3 billion of income for Iowa households; and
  • Supports more than 42,000 jobs through the entire Iowa economy.

(in Millions)


(in Millions)

Household Earnings

(in Millions)



Ethanol*  $6,487.5 $4,249.4 $2,000.4  38,563
Biodiesel  $864.5 $447.0 $303.0 3,856
Totals  $7,352.0 $4,726.3 $2,303.4 42,419

            *Includes agriculture and investment in R & D

To view the full study, please click here.