Jan 26, 2018
John chats up Katie Rock and Lu Nelsen, policy associates with the Center for Rural Affairs in Iowa and Nebraska, respectively. One focus of the discussion was a recent study published by the Center, called Generation & Delivery: The Economic Impact of Transmission Infrastructure in Rural Counties (www.cfra.org/GenerationAndDelivery). The report looks at how various states have managed finances and tax revenues dealing with expansion of transmission capabilities and the burgeoning power of renewables. While the benefits of wind and solar are well known and understood, it’s harder to comprehend the benefits of an infrastructure option, such as transmission lines. But those benefits are demonstrable as well, Rock and Nelsen point out, if counties are able to secure tax revenues and use it to decrease the taxes paid by property owners or implement conservation measures, just to cite a couple of examples. The study included several cases studies, illuminating the economics of renewable options and also delineating the upside revenues emanating from the expansion and updating of transmission lines. Finally, the opening up of energy options clearly also creates multiple job opportunities for rural residents.