Legislation is being developed in Nebraska that could become a national model for incentivizing wind development in ways that benefit rural communities.
The US Department of Energy study 20 Percent Wind by 2020 concluded that ramping up wind generation to 20 percent of the nation’s electricity would create 3,000 or more permanent jobs in many Great Plains and central US states. But the degree of benefit will always be greatest when local people share in the ownership of wind projects and the wealth they create. The benefits are further multiplied when local businesses become the builders and suppliers of wind farms.
President Obama offered several laudable energy goals during his recent State of the Union address. However, he did not mention upgrading and expanding clean energy transmission as an investment in attaining his goals.
Although the energy goals mentioned during his recent State of the Union address were laudable, President Obama must now turn attention to the improvement of our nation’s electric transmission system. Upgrading and expanding clean energy transmission will create jobs, spur new industries, and lead to a more-sustainable future for rural America.
Determining where wind turbines are placed, or sited, is a major component of wind energy development, and clear communication within communities, and between communities, landowners and energy developers, is vital for project success.