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How Renewable Energy Helps Rural Communities

| 11/17/2017 10:20:00 AM


Renewable energy impacts extend beyond reducing the global carbon footprint. The manufacturing, construction and operation of renewable energy components and facilities can improve the local economy in rural areas with otherwise limited opportunities.

In recent years, small communities throughout the United States have embraced the eco-friendly energy boom and reaped the environmental and economic benefits.

New Job Opportunities

Rural communities throughout the United States are struggling to recover following the Great Recession. Populations are declining as residents relocate to larger cities, and career options are becoming limited. Fortunately, communities with the most significant unemployment rates are also among those with the highest potential for success in the renewable energy sector.

Benton County, Indiana, boasts 560 wind turbines. The construction of wind farms created temporary positions for many workers. Locals who took the time to learn new trades could then find employment on other wind farms being constructed throughout the area. After the wind projects were finished, the community added 95 new jobs for operation and maintenance positions. The county’s tourism revenue increased as well. Officials now hold wind farm tours that help generate additional income.

Landowners in Benton County also benefit from reduced property taxes and payments for the use of their land. Because turbines maintain a relatively small footprint, farmers can still plant their crops without experiencing any downtime. Wind farm revenue is helping pay down the county’s debts and reinvest in the community as a whole.

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