Clean Energy News

From the executive director: tax proposals put rural priorities at risk

As the hotly debated tax bills appear headed toward final votes in the House and Senate this week, the Center for Rural Affairs calls on members of Congress to send the bills back to committee for further debate. The Center opposed both the House and Senate versions of the bill.

In our review of the bills, a few of the provisions that will negatively impact rural people include:

Jobs sweep into region with wind development

Wind energy continues to grow in the U.S., especially in the heart of the country. With some of the best renewable resources available, this region has significant potential to generate clean energy while also reaping the benefits of development.

Public power can invest locally in renewable wind and solar energy

When it comes to wind energy potential, Nebraska is in a prime position. The state is fourth in the U.S. – in fact, the state could produce enough energy from wind to meet its energy needs 118 times over, or enough to power 511,000 average homes. But, even with this potential, Nebraska lags behind its neighbors in developing our wind energy resources, currently putting the state at 18th for installed wind energy capacity.

Bloomfield, Iowa, on track for energy independence by 2030

When it comes to rural development, the town of Bloomfield in southeast Iowa is holding its own.

After a study concluded Bloomfield (population 2,643) could become energy independent in its use of electricity by 2030, the city council is pursuing a combination of efficiency upgrades and investments in clean, renewable energy.

Smart policy creates sunny outlook

The Iowa legislature created the Iowa Solar Energy System Tax Credit in 2012. Designed to encourage local investment, the credit offsets up to 15 percent of the cost of a new installation. Legislators included limits of $5,000 per home or $20,000 per business to ensure accessibility.

This incentive led to 2,524 new solar projects between 2012 and 2016. The new installments are spread across the state, with at least one in 97 of Iowa’s 99 counties. In total, the $16.4 million provided by the solar tax incentive has generated $123,248,595 of private investment.

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