Written by Lucas Nelsen, Policy Program Associate, Center for Rural Affairs
The United States continues to develop new clean and renewable energy resources to replace aging, carbon-emitting generating facilities. Much of the new renewable energy generation can be found in lightly populated rural areas. These locations often host significant resources for renewable energy generation and provide ample space for new development, especially from wind energy.
Wind energy contributed a significant portion of new generation completed in 2015, making up 41 percent of a total 14,468 megawatts built last year. Many of these new additions were located in the Midwest and Great Plains, regions of the country that boast some of the richest wind energy resources in the nation. Rural communities in these regions stand to benefit from new renewable development, as projects provide new economic activity and revenue for these areas. Download the full report (PDF).
Image: Wind turbines on a farm between Odell and Diller in southeast Nebraska, part of the Steele Flats wind farm. Credit: James R. Burnett / Omaha World-Herald
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
- Rural America keeps farming the wind, American Wind Energy Association Blog, Into the Wind
- Turning to turbines: As commodity prices remain low, wind energy leases offer a welcome source of income for farmers, Omaha World-Herald