Utilities, Experts Discuss Impact of Renewable Energy in Midwest
The Midwest has become a major energy producing region — with renewable energy. Like oil in Texas and coal in Wyoming, wind power and ethanol have become major industries in the Midwest. By tapping into its enormous renewable energy potential and manufacturing know-how, the Midwest has boosted the economy and created thousands of jobs. This progress is detailed in a new report from the Energy Foundation, which is featured as a “Postcard from the Future of Energy” by America’s Power Plan.
“Wind power has been a booming industry for the Midwest, and an important part of our low-cost power portfolio,” said Jonathan Weisgall, Vice President for Legislative and Regulatory Affairs for Berkshire Hathaway Energy (formerly MidAmerican Energy Holdings). “It is critical that we have a stable and predictable policy environment to continue this growth, for the benefit of our customers.”
“Renewable energy has benefited Midwest manufacturing by providing a stable and affordable form of energy,” said John Colm, President and Executive Director of WIRE-Net, a manufacturing research and advocacy group based in Ohio. “It has boosted the region’s economy as renewable energy companies have invested billions of dollars, creating tens of thousands of new jobs all along the supply chain.”
But policy support for renewables is in question, as Congress has yet to renew a critical federal tax credit, and lawmakers in Ohio are debating a freeze or repeal of the state’s clean energy law.