THE ADVANCED POWER ECONOMY
From the plains of the Midwest to the cities across the nation, America’s Energy Heartland is powering the future and Advanced Power Alliance members are leading the way.
We are attracting leading global companies that are committed to using clean energy to power their businesses. From the state-of-the-art data centers to our heavy manufacturers and commercial operations, more and more mega-employers are selecting renewable energy as a long-term solution to reduce costs and benefit our environment.
An investment in wind power and solar energy is an investment in jobs – from operations and maintenance, to construction, manufacturing and numerous support sectors. But the renewable power industry does so much more than that.
POSITIVE ECONOMIC BENEFITS
CLEAN ENERGY CREATES JOBS
According to the Economic Policy Institute, major investments in infrastructure, clean energy and energy efficiency would support between 6.9 and 12.9 million U.S. jobs annually by 2024! These job gains would be seen across the country and numerous industries like transportation, agriculture, administrative and support services, professional, scientific, and support services, wholesale trade, and mining.
CLEAN ENERGY ATTRACTS CORPORATE INVESTMENT, BRINGING NEW JOBS AND OPPORTUNITIES TO COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE NATION
CLEAN ENERGY DRIVES DOWN THE COST OF ELECTRICITY AND SAVES CONSUMERS MONEY
The cost of developing clean energy is always falling, as innovative minds develop new technologies which can harvest wind and solar power more efficiently than ever. Battery storage technology is changing the dynamics of renewable energy development, making clean energy more dependable and reliable, and strengthening the nation’s electrical grid while driving down energy costs.
PROVIDED LONG-TERM PRICE STABILITY
Technological advancements in turbines, blade designs, telecommunications, and computing have made wind energy cost-competitive with other forms of electricity. And, while the price of electricity from other sources can fluctuate due to variable costs like fuel, the fuel price on a wind farm is fixed for perpetuity. This means that wind power can help hedge against fuel price volatility in other forms of generation.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a division of the U.S. Department of Energy, estimates that solar panels will cover three million acres by 2030. That compares with almost 258,000 acres generating solar power in 2018, according to Wall Street Journal calculations based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
CLEAN ENERGY IS REVITALIZING OUR NATIONS RURAL ECONOMIES
Clean energy is revitalizing our nation’s rural economies. Every year, clean energy pay over $1.6 billion in local taxes and land lease payments to the communities which host their projects. This new tax revenue allows rural counties to repair roads and bridges, expand emergency services and build new school facilities for school districts — all without raising taxes on local citizens!
Developers also pay millions a year in land-lease payments, payments made directly to landowners who host clean energy projects on their land. Because of this, clean energy provides an economic boost to rural communities. A land-lease with a clean energy developer means a farmer or rancher will receive another steady stream of income that helps offset the ever-changing grain and cattle markets. This additional revenue, in turn, is used to make land and equipment payments, hire more hands, buy more seed and ultimately produce more exports.
Clean energy also creates new job opportunities for stagnant rural communities, ranging from meteorologists and surveyors to structural engineers, assembly workers, lawyers, bankers, and technicians.
DIVERSIFYING RURAL ECONOMIES
Wind and solar energy is diversifying the economies of rural communities, adding to the tax base and providing new streams of income for farming and ranching communities.
Renewable energy investments are large and these capital investments add a new source of property taxes in rural areas that otherwise have a challenging time attracting new industry. Communities across our region now actively recruit clean energy developments as part of their regional economic development programs.
SUPPORTS THE AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY
Every year the wind and solar industry infuses capital into the Midwest by investing millions in land lease payments each year. Land lease payments allow farmers and ranchers to reinvest in their land and increase output in agriculture.
Wind farms are spaced over a large geographic area, but their actual “footprint” covers a small portion of the land (less than 5%), meaning they have little impact on agricultural uses. This means that wind turbines can be installed without interfering with people, livestock, or production. In many parts of our state, farmers and ranchers have been able to stay on their land thanks to a new crop, the wind energy they harvest above their land.
Developing local sources of energy means our energy dollars are invested back into the local economy. Landowners benefit directly from lease payments, school districts benefit and local governments benefit from tax revenue, and local workers benefit from job opportunities that are often difficult to find in rural America.