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

March 20, 2019

 Prepared for the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association

With 4.35 billion gallons of ethanol production and 365 million gallons of biodiesel production in 2018, Iowa continues to be the nation’s biofuels leader. Renewable fuels continue to make a significant contribution to the Iowa economy, particularly to rural communities. While growing, uncertainly around the renewable fuels standard (RFS), E15, tax policy, and trade impede the ability of renewable fuels to maximize their potential benefit to job creation, household earnings, and petroleum displacement.

View the full study here.

Renewable Fuels Continue to Drive Iowa Forward

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

  • Accounts for more than $5.0 billion, or about 3%, of Iowa GDP;
  • Generates $2.5 billion of income for Iowa households; and
  • Supports more than 48,000 jobs through the entire Iowa economy.

(in Millions)


(in Millions)

Household Earnings

(in Millions)



Ethanol* $7,080 $4,739 $2,231 43,697
Biodiesel $964 $568 $307 4,690
Total $8,044 $5,307 $2,538 48,387

*Includes agriculture, investment in R&D, and exports