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

 

Rural Electrification 2.0: The Transition to a Clean Energy Economy

Rural America faces a conundrum in the expanding development in renewable energy. Many rural areas in the country are providing the infrastructure for a clean energy future through transmission lines, wind turbines, and utility-scale solar. But, much of the power itself is not used locally in rural communities. Many rural communities are dependent on the energy resource mix of their rural electric cooperative. Nationally, these cooperatives derive 67 percent of their energy from fossil fuels.

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Transmission lines provide a pathway for renewable energy

The Midwest has experienced a renewable energy boom. Renewables have provided the region with clean, low-cost energy and created new economic development opportunities for communities. The expansion of renewable energy has presented a challenge—the electric grid was not designed to connect wind and solar generation to customers. Taking full advantage of the region’s clean energy resources requires a concerted effort to improve existing electric transmission infrastructure.

Your rural voice: Providing a pathway for clean energy investment

Nationally, South Dakota ranks 46th for energy efficiency programs and policy. HB 1090 would improve on that ranking by giving South Dakota counties the ability to create C-PACE programs if they so choose. These programs provide opportunities for local businesses to access low-cost, long-term funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation projects. C-PACE allows businesses to make clean energy improvements that are designed to exceed the annual assessment payment, allowing property owners to save money right away.