Saturday, September 08, 2012

Study says wind energy development increases personal income and creates jobs in rural counties

After all the cheerleading and naysaying on the matter, at last, a systematic analysis of how wind energy development affects rural counties has been done. That study, in the current issue of Energy Economics, shows that wind energy development increases both personal income and employment in the county where the development is located. The paper was authored by Jason P. Brown and John Pender of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, Ryan Wiser and Ben Hoen of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Eric Lantz of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The Daily Yonder breaks down the complexities to explain that "the economists looked at wind capacity installed in 12 states from 2000 to 2008. The states included Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming. In all, the study area included 1,009 counties. Their findings concluded that for every megawatt of wind power capacity installed, total county personal income increased by $11,150 over the 2000 to 2008 period. And, for every megawatt of wind energy installed in a county, one half of a job was created." (Read more)

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