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

 

Link to rural development and a renewable future

The United States continues to develop new clean and renewable energy resources to replace aging, carbon-emitting generating facilities. Much of the new renewable energy generation can be found in lightly populated rural areas. These locations often host significant resources for renewable energy generation and provide ample space for new development, especially from wind energy.

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Wind turbines bring dollars to small town Minnesota

Small towns like Lakefield, Minn., provide a great example of how wind energy development can bring in new dollars to a rural community. In 2010, Lakefield had over 100 turbines planned or installed in the area.

The turbines brought new construction jobs to the area and created permanent jobs in the community. Jackson County, where Lakefield is located, also expected about $700,000 annually in tax revenue from area wind turbines.

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Community engagement is key in clean energy development

When a room fills with 30 people, many driving more than an hour to be there on a beautiful fall evening in the midst of football playoffs, one can assume there is an important matter at hand. This was the case during a recent community energy conversation hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs in Valentine, Neb. On the table was the opportunity for open and candid conversation surrounding the energy future of the county and the state.

Clean Power Plan oral hearings begin today

On Aug. 3, 2015, President Barack Obama and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director Gina McCarthy announced the final version of America's Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan (CPP) builds on the Clean Air Act by placing the first ever limits on carbon pollution. Under the CPP, the U.S. will reduce carbon pollution 32 percent, and each state is tasked with creating a personalized compliance plan to meet their carbon reduction targets.