Clean Energy

Clean energy offers a significant opportunity to diversify the rural economy, create new opportunity and address the root cause of climate change.
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Wind energy and other renewable energy will revitilize rural communities rich in energy resources. When the Nebraska legislature held a hearing on wind development, one group of citizens drove 400 miles to testify that for the first time in memory, there was renewed hope for the future of their community. The economics are clear.

To maxmise the impact, there is a critical need for new and upgraded transmission capacity to unlock the renewable energy potential found in rural America. Both our economy and our future depend on moving power from the remote regions of the Great Plains and Upper Midwest to the demand centers that need it most.

Our goal is to better assist landowners and other rural stakeholders to ensure that clean energy transmission is built in an equitable, sustainable way - a way that works best for rural citizens and their communities. Those affected by new transmission will benefit from forming real partnerships with developers and those in the regulatory sphere, relationships that result in greater engagement in planning, new responsiveness to concerns and more equitable compensation models.

See our clean energy transmission database here. Learn about our work to replace coal fired energy with renewables (it's an infograph!)

Clean Energy Notes

 

Landowner Compensation in Transmission Siting for Renewable Energy Facilities

Economic and environmental concerns have popularized renewable energy projects as a source of electricity generation. The price of electricity generated by wind or solar power is more competitive today than ever before.

Yet development of renewable energy projects is limited by existing transmission capacity. Without increased infrastructure, the full benefits of wind and solar power cannot be realized.

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Communities Can Change Transmission for the Better

Earlier this month, several hearings were held across Missouri concerning a proposed transmission line that has the potential to carry Midwest wind energy to eastern markets. The Missouri Public Service Commission heard testimony from Missouri residents concerning the Grain Belt Express project, one of several new transmission projects in the region that could help boost new renewable energy projects.

Special Series: Primer on Renewable Energy and Transmission

Writer Loren Flaugh, a longtime friend of the Center, is uniquely interested in energy. Living in Central Iowa, a region heavily committed to renewables, he’s had no shortage of inspiration. Loren enjoys a front-row seat as his region reaps the benefits of renewable energy investment.

It wasn’t long ago that he realized most of these benefits – clean air, low rates, and local economic development – depend on infrastructure that moves that energy from where it’s produced to where it’s needed most.

Iowa Loses Solar Opportunity

In mid-July, the state of Iowa gave up a $1 million grant that would have helped the state take steps to become a national leader in solar power, just as it has with wind energy. The U.S. Department of Energy grant was aimed at analyzing state policies that affect solar energy, and assist them in removing barriers to expanding solar in the state.