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Iowa scientists say we're under-investing in solar

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

A one-acre solar farm produces as much energy as approximately 100 acres of ethanol from corn. Why isn't Iowa taking advantage?

That's according to this year's Iowa Climate Statement, which is focused on the state's potential to tap solar energy resources.

River to River host Ben Kieffer talks with the lead authors of the 13th annual statement, which is signed by more than 200 scientists from colleges and universities across Iowa.

The authors also answer listener questions about solar projects, from home installation to utility-owned farms.


  • David Courard-Hauri, professor of environmental science and sustainability, Drake University
  • Gene Takle, distinguished emeritus professor of agronomy, Iowa State University
  • Peter Thorne, distinguished chair and professor, University of Iowa College of Public Health
  • Ulrike Passe, professor of architecture, Iowa State University

This episode was originally produced 11-7-2023.

Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.