Clean Energy News

Growth in solar capacity projected to fuel rural economies

The growth of the solar industry has brought a wave of new projects to Nebraska, including a community solar farm in Scottsbluff that's expected to save the city more than $2 million in energy costs over 25 years.

With more projects on the horizon, Lu Nelsen, policy program associate for the advocacy group Center for Rural Affairs, says solar is poised to boost rural economies.

Case studies reveal unique approaches to addressing climate change in rural areas

According to a 2019 survey conducted by the Center for Rural Affairs in Iowa, 91 percent of rural Iowans are “very or extremely concerned” by climate change affecting their lives. Of those individuals having an elevated concern level, many are taking steps to address it. 

The climate leaders in these case studies have taken action in their own ways. 

Renewable electric grid making economic impact in rural areas

The last decade has seen a drastic shift in the way the U.S. generates electricity.

We have shifted from relying primarily on fossil fuel burning power plants to a thriving clean energy industry that supplies renewable, low-cost electricity to consumers. A combination of demand from customers and diminishing technology costs have helped wind and solar projects sprout up across the country, and with them has come a range of economic benefits.

Rural energy program benefits South Dakota businesses

Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded more than $380,000 to assist South Dakota businesses in reducing their energy costs and improving energy efficiency. The funding comes from the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides grants and loans to rural businesses, ag producers, and farmers. REAP funds must be used for the installation of renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. 

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