Weekly Column

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.

Transmission upgrades needed to adapt to changing landscape

As more renewable energy is developed across the nation, regulators and policymakers must prepare for the changing electric power landscape. Clean power commitments have increased at the county and city levels, with 11 counties and 104 cities nationwide pledging to 100 percent clean energy goals at the end of 2018.

The Center for Rural Affairs recently released a white paper, “Capacity for Change: The Role of Transmission Infrastructure in Energy Transition,” which takes a look at an electric transmission system that is evolving to take advantage of clean energy resources.

Crop insurance supports on-farm diversity

Farmers and ranchers have one thing in common: the need to manage risk, from weather, markets, or other forces. 

Crop insurance can be a useful tool for farmers and ranchers in managing risk. But, while crop insurance is readily available for major crops like corn and soybeans, many farmers and ranchers could benefit from learning about risk management options for more niche crops.

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