Clean Energy

Clean energy offers a significant opportunity to diversify the rural economy, create new opportunity and address the root cause of climate change.

Wind energy and other renewable energy will revitalize 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 maximize 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 (infographs to share!)

Clean Energy Notes

 

Sunshine without net metering

South Dakota once carried the official moniker of “the Sunshine State,” and is one of only three states without net metering policies. 

For the Midwest state, where 73 percent of net electricity generation comes from hydropower and wind, solar energy remains a renewables omission. But this exclusion of solar remains not because of a lack of sunshine, just a lack of policy. Without net metering, the sunshine for which South Dakota has emblazoned upon its flag exists only as a reminder of the underutilization of its solar resource.

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Energy efficiency starts at home

Many homes are lit like runways this time of year. However, the cost of running those twinkling lights, LEDs of course, pales in comparison to the dollars in heating costs that escape through drafty windows or a furnace in need of a tune-up. Improving energy efficiency in your home can have a collective impact.

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Sunshine without net metering

South Dakota once carried the official moniker of “the Sunshine State,” and is one of only three states without net metering policies. But what does net metering have to do with sunshine and why has South Dakota, a state with a strong portfolio of renewable energy generation, not yet adopted net metering policies?

Simply, net metering is an incentive for the installation and use of solar photovoltaics (PV) for energy generation. Through the formalization of net metering policies, distributed generation customers — those producing solar energy at their homes or businesses — are more readily able to sell the excess energy generated back to the utility for use across the grid. This sale of power to the utility appears as a credit on the customer’s utility bill. This credit offsets the customer’s electricity consumption during the current month or across the year, depending on state guidelines.

Energy efficiency starts at home

There is a degree of irony discussing energy efficiency during a time of year when many homes are lit like runways. Yet, the cost of a running a few twinkling lights, LEDs of course, pales in comparison to the dollars in heating costs that escape through drafty windows or a furnace in need of a tune-up. Recognizing these opportunities for improved energy efficiency in your home can have a collective impact.