ord sunshine pumpers

life in rural nebraska

Room for optimism among the dreary

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Sure enough I go and talk about how bad it may get in 2009.  I do believe if we get it right, that being our newly elected officials, we could emerge out of this mess lean and mean.

One way places like Ord can actively seek to grow their economy is renewable energy capture and the ancillary activities that go into that.  From the construction of wind and solar, to the manufacturing of the components and materials to build the facilities to the human capital that contributes to it, I do believe there is a plenty of room to grow for rural communities.

Out of Michigan of all places is an interesting article about a new upstart manufacturer called Global Wind Systems:

A regional startup fresh from winning $7.3 million in state tax incentives is on track to become Michigan’s first manufacturer of utility-scale wind turbines, a potential win for a state eager to grow its renewable energy sector.

Michigan is quite suitable for this sort of manufacturing expansion due to their role in heavy manufacturing in the past.  Plus it capitalizes on a move to more renewable fuels, something that will be ever more present as the new Obama administration designs the new energy policy.  More importantly, is the efforts Michigan is taking to focus on smaller scale renewables, much like the Community Based Energy Development (C-BED) opportunities that exist in Nebraska:

Michigan’s new renewable portfolio standard, which requires the state to obtain 10 percent of its electricity mix from renewable sources by 2015, should also help. Long said the company plans to focus on so-called community wind projects – smaller wind farms of 10 to 20 generators that don’t typically attract interest from large competitors such as Siemens or GE.

This entire supply chain, from capture to materials production to human capital, poses a huge opportunity for economic growth in rural areas even in the face of the recession.  I just hope we in Nebraska can mobilize our efforts fast enough.

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Written by Caleb

January 8, 2009 at 6:35 pm

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