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 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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Grants to Help You Save Money with Renewable Energy

Are you interested in using renewable energy on your farm, or managing energy use to save money? The USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides grants for energy auditing and renewable energy projects to rural small businesses and agricultural producers. REAP is offering training webinars to help interested applicants make the best use of the program.

LB 423 Invests in Nebraska Energy Future

Nebraska has some of the best wind energy resources in the nation, yet, wind energy only accounts for 4.8% of Nebraska’s energy generation. Wind power is capable of meeting 118 times Nebraska’s current electricity needs, but we still rely on imports to meet our demand.

Statistics make it easy to forget the communities behind the numbers.

Broken Bow’s wind development, for example, has created 400 construction jobs, 23 permanent positions, and $16 million in direct community investment. As a result, Custer County receives an extra $185,000 in annual tax revenue.

Communities Need Input and Information on Energy Projects

On Jan 27, 2015, the Center for Rural Affairs and Lancaster County Farmers Union hosted an informational forum on wind energy development in Cortland, Nebraska. Cortland sits on Highway 77 about 20 miles south of Lincoln.

If you live in or around communities impacted by wind energy development, you deserve to ask questions and have your voice heard. People in Cortland and surrounding communities told us they had not had a chance to engage in a public conversation on the project.