Nebraska has bright renewable energy future, leaders say

Nebraska has bright renewable energy future, leaders say

Nebraska is continuing to grow its renewable energy footprint, particularly when it comes to wind and solar.

“There’s a lot of upside potential in our state because we have tremendous wind and solar resources,” John Hansen, president of the Nebraska Farmers Union, told attendees at the 2019 Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference and Exhibition.

Hundreds of business executives, community leaders, landowners and others are attending the two-day event at the Cornhusker Marriott Hotel in Lincoln.

Nebraska for several years has lagged in wind power usage compared with potential, but that is changing. The state tied Rhode Island last year for the biggest year-over-year percentage gain in wind power capacity (39%) and ranked fifth for overall installation growth with more than 500 megawatts added last year.

“You guys have a really, really excellent resource here,” Farrell said.

She showed a Power Point presentation that quantified the amount of wind power in use in the state and what future growth looks like.

Nebraska gets 14.5% of its power from wind energy, which is more than twice the national average and more than all but 12 states. However, it lags many of its neighbors. Kansas gets 36.4% of its power from wind, Iowa gets 33.7%, South Dakota gets 24.4% and Colorado gets 17.3%.

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