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


Zoned Out: An Analysis of Wind Energy Zoning in Four Midwest States

This paper examines the many facets of wind energy zoning. Part 1 outlines zoning approaches practiced in the United States. Part 2 looks at methods of regulating wind energy development in four Midwestern states - zeroing in on Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Nebraska. Part 3 analyzes state and local control of wind energy regulations. A combination of state and local governance of wind energy facilities are the most beneficial for developing effective commercial wind energy zoning ordinances that encourage wind energy development.

File attachments: 

Midwest, Maps, & Energy

The Midwest has some great potential for wind energy, but limited capacity is holding back the area from maximizing its renewable energy capacity. Transmission infrastructure is a key part of renewable energy development, linking new wind energy sources to the larger electric grid where more customers can purchase the clean and renewable power.

Celebrating Dyersville

As many of you may know, the Center recently opened our first Iowa office in downtown Dyersville. I’ve been asked, “Why Dyersville?” a number of times, and I’m always excited to brag about our new home. While logistics played their part, we were thrilled to locate our Iowa office in a small town that represents the type of rural community we advocate to support.