The Grand Island Independent had a great piece in the Sunday paper about the economic impact of wind power generation for the United States. From the article:
“Kaplan said the U.S. wind industry will represent $330 billion in investments between 2010 and 2025, with more than 90 percent stemming from onshore wind, according to the study’s projections. The Midwest, Great Plains and Rocky Mountain states will act as major wind export hubs to areas with large appetites for renewables, including California, the Mid-Atlantic and the South.”
This means more than ever Nebraska needs the financial, legislative and strategic tools (including transmission) to capitalize on this market growth. As you will recall, recently we began understanding the process of whether or not wind energy development was feasible in Valley County. So far, the results are mixed, mainly due to the issues in transmission. It certainly doesn’t mean we’re going to sit back and let market forces evolve around us, however.
Another issue certainly need monitoring as well – if the Feds pass a climate bill that either taxes carbon emissions or creates a carbon exchange, coal and other non-renewable energy sources are going to start getting much more expensive. Fast.
If you’re interested in becoming more involved in wind energy development in Valley County, drop me a line: (308) 728-7875. We’ll keep working on this effort from an economic development perspective, and reach out to some great work that has been created by the Loup Basin RC&D here in Ord. More to come!