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Recent posts by Lucas Nelsen

Balanced zoning, setbacks key to rural clean energy future

The wind energy industry remains one of the fastest growing in the U.S. It has not only increased capacity, but provided consumers and utilities with clean energy while creating additional economic benefits, such as tax revenue, career opportunities and direct payments to landowners who host turbines.

Review of Wind Energy Setbacks: Commonalities and Differences Among Three States

The wind energy industry remains one of the fastest growing in the United States. In 2018, U.S. wind capacity increased by 8 percent, bringing total installed capacity to 96,433 megawatts (MW). An additional 35,135 MW of capacity were under development at the end of 2018—including projects that had started construction or were in earlier stages.

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Wind energy continues to benefit rural America 

In 2019, the U.S. reached a landmark in its wind energy capacity when 100 gigawatts — or enough to provide electricity for about 32 million homes — were produced, according to a report from the American Wind Energy Association. 
Reaching that milestone came after the industry experienced significant expansion. Wind energy made up about 30 percent of all new utility-scale generating capacity from 2008 to 2019, making it the top source of renewable electricity in the country.

Decommissioning Wind Energy Systems

Every day, rural communities benefit from wind energy. Wind development provides new income for landowners, new tax revenue to fund schools and services, and creates local career and job opportunities. County officials are responsible for enacting siting or zoning standards that help ensure wind development is supported by local residents. Many seek to address the issue of decommissioning.

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Technology improvements, declining costs create a wave of new solar projects

The Midwest has a bright future in solar energy. 

A combination of residential, community, and utility-scale projects have led to a significant increase in solar capacity across the country. Additionally, improvements to technology have led to declining costs thus creating a wave of new projects and economic opportunities for states with substantial potential to generate low-cost, renewable electricity from solar.