A report from the Nebraska-based Center for Rural Affairs finds those giant wind turbines that dot the farmland skyline are helping power distant cities, not rural homes.
A report from the Nebraska-based Center for Rural Affairs finds those giant wind turbines that dot the farmland skyline are helping power distant cities, not rural homes. Johnathan Hladik, the center's energy policy advocate, says major power lines are -not- connected to the areas where the wind power is generated.
Johnathan Hladik, Center for Rural Affairs "wind turbines"
Nebraska ranks fourth in the nation for wind energy resources, behind Texas, California and Iowa. The Husker State has more than 260 operational wind turbines on 11 major sites. Hladik says only six-percent of the lines 400 kilovolts and above are located in the top ten states for wind energy potential.
It was once common that power plants were located close to the population areas they serve. Now, utilities find it hard to locate new plants in heavily-populated areas. Johnathan Hladik, at the Lyons-based Center for Rural Affairs, says a study found only a few miles of modern, major power lines are located close to the wind turbines that generate the power.
Hladik "only nine miles"
Nebraska is the nation's fourth-largest wind energy resource, yet the report says most of the power generated by Nebraska wind powers far-away cities in other states.
There are some 260 wind turbines spinning over Nebraska, but most of the power they generate is heading out of state. Johnathan Hladik, at the Center for Rural Affairs, says making a more efficient use of infrastructure now in place is a critical first step, and making major improvements will take creative partnerships.
Hladik "regional collaboratives"
The utilities need to come up with plans to move more power over a more efficient energy grid, he says, to insure a clean energy future and more jobs. The Center for Rural Affairs is based in Lyons, Nebraska. Learn more at: www.cfra.org
(image courtesy of stock.xchng)
(courtesy of Nebraska Radio Network)