By Rod Swoboda, Wallaces Farmer
The Center for Rural Affairs last week released “Powering Iowa: Rural Perspectives on Iowa’s Renewable Energy Transformation,” a report examining renewable energy development in the state. Authors of the report, Stephanie Enloe and Katie Rock, used survey results from Iowa county officials and landowners to explore how Iowans are responding to renewable energy technologies, such as wind, solar and electric transmission lines. Read more here.
The report is available for download by clicking here and scrolling down.
Photo Credit: Wallaces Farmer
Subtitle: Seventy percent of U.S. turbines are in low-income rural areas
By Jennifer Oldham, Bloomberg Businessweek
Wind energy, the fastest-growing source of electricity in the U.S., is transforming low-income rural areas in ways not seen since the federal government gave land to homesteaders 150 years ago. As commodity prices threaten to reach decade lows and farmers struggle to meet debt payments, wind has become the newest cash crop, saving family farms across a wide swath of the heartland.
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ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING – RECENT & ARCHIVED STORIES
- Reports suggest Nebraska economy is slowing, Lincoln Journal Star
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack talks expanding economic opportunities in rural America, World-Herald Bureau. In particular, he talked about the need to continue supporting renewable fuels and the bio-based industry. A new report says that industry contributes $393 billion to the economy, he said, adding that it has helped rural areas recover from the Great Recession by supporting 4.2 million jobs.
- New round of Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant applications now open
- Shift to clean energy would help rural, low-income most, by Lauren Kolojejchick-Kotch, Energy and Climate Program Associate with the Center for Rural Affairs in Lyons, Nebraska. Published by The Des Moines Register
- Rural Nebraska lawmaker sees wind energy as an urgent lifeline, Midwest Energy News
By Kietryn Zychal, The Reader
“There is a large and united coalition growing in Nebraska. It started with the pipeline and it is moving into clean energy,” said Graham Christensen, Director of the Nebraska Farmers Union, and member of a new coalition called Clean Energy Nebraska. “There are a lot of people working hand in hand. There is no going backward,” he said. The Farmer’s Union, the Nebraska Wildlife Federation, The Nebraska Sierra Club and The Center for Rural Affairs are members. Each organization appeals to a different audience. Continue reading.
Clean Energy Nebraska’s Website: www.cleanenergynebraska.org
Photo: Graham Christensen, District Director of the Nebraska Farmers Union, Owner of GC Resolve LLC
Photo: Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD)
– from the Center for Rural Affairs website
Wind energy and other renewable energy will revitalize rural communities rich in energy resources. 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.
The Center for Rural Affairs 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.
Energy Fact Sheet: The Grid And Transmission Lines: Without Transmission Updates, Midwestern Wind Energy Is A Stranded Resource http://www.cfra.org/node/5849
Energy Fact Sheet: Economic Benefits: Clean Energy Transmission Provides Several Benefits For Local Communities And Economies Throughout the Development Process
Map of Clean Energy Transmission Projects
By Lauren Kolojejchick-Kotch, Energy and Climate Program Associate
Center for Rural Affairs
When it comes to power, Nebraska is unique from every other state. That’s because our state is the only one in the nation with public power, giving Nebraskans the ability to elect board members that will represent our interests when it comes to powering our homes and businesses. To insure that we are being properly represented, Nebraskans must be active in learning about energy in the state and what public power districts are planning for the future.
Nebraskans should be asking questions, and making their voices heard. Public Power affords all ratepayer-owners a say in our energy future.
Transmission is the backbone of our electric system and a foundation for the Great Plains region’s economic growth and environmental sustainability. Expanding and upgrading the electric transmission network will create jobs, strengthen the economy, spur the development and use of clean and renewable energy sources, and ensure a secure and modern power system.
The Great Plains Clean Energy Transmission Summit, to be held on October 21, 2013, in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, will feature a series of panel discussions with clean energy and transmission industry representatives, academic leaders, policymakers, as well as keynote addresses from the leading experts of the United States.
A name many Nebraskans will recognize is Jonathan Hladik, Energy Policy Advocate with the Center for Rural Affairs in Lyons, Nebraska, who will be on a panel that will discuss “Updating Transmission Policy for a Clean Energy Future.”
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This week, the Center for Rural Affairs is circulating a letter among rural community leaders, urging the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) to make investments in rural and small town Nebraska’s energy future by purchasing locally produced wind power at today’s historically low rates.
Investing in Nebraska wind means making an investment in our communities’ future, which is crucial in rural Nebraska. Low prices of wind generated electricity, combined with the local economic development wind projects create and growing health concerns about coal-fired power, make a compelling argument for NPPD to invest in wind right now . . .
The Center for Rural Affairs invites leaders of mainstreet businesses, schools, small towns and civic organizations, as well as the farm and faith communities, to join us in urging NPPD to purchase locally produced, historically low-cost wind power. We will present the sign-on letter to the NPPD board and executives on Friday, October 11th: