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


Rural Electric Co-ops Can Renew Community Spirit

I tore a page out of my rural electric co-op newsletter last fall. It is pinned it to my wall. I read it every day. It says, “Electric co-ops were constructed with lines, poles, and the foolhardy notion that we all prosper by helping each other.”

It’s so true. The co-operative spirit that brought electric service to rural America represents the community-driven values of small towns – values the Center works to uphold today.

Iowa and South Dakota Rank #1 and #2 in Development of Wind Power

Iowa and South Dakota are first and second in the nation when it comes to getting their power from wind energy. Iowa currently gets about 27% of its energy from wind, with South Dakota nipping at its heels at 26%. For Iowa, the investment in wind energy has paid off.

Over 5,000 megawatts of installed wind capacity has brought with it 7,000 new jobs, and $16 million each year to landowners in the form of lease payments. And with another 1,000 megawatts currently under construction, Iowa seems to be in a good place to keep this success booming.

Wind Legislation a Boon to Rural Communities

Many are blown away by the thriving wind industry in the Midwest. Neighboring states like Iowa and South Dakota have seen fantastic expansion, with each state getting 27 and 26% of their energy from wind respectively, and Kansas is fast-approaching the 20% mark. Besides affordable, renewable energy; wind energy brought new careers and revenue to these states.

While Iowa, Kansas, and South Dakota continue to expand wind energy; Nebraska is lagging far behind. We’re missing out on the local benefits that wind development brings with it.