A new study of the potential for wind energy in Nebraska shows there could be a big jump in jobs if new wind farms are developed in the state.
The report (link to PDF) from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory says construction of wind farms could create 20,600 to 36,500 short-term construction jobs between 2011 and 2020, and up to another 4,000 long-term operations and maintenance jobs.
And the report suggests that Nebraska’s economy could grow $7.8 billion to $14.1 billion over the next 40 years if infrastructure for 7,800 megawatts of wind power is built.
Also released this week was a draft of Nebraska’s first new energy plan in nearly two decades calls on the state to invest more in renewable energy projects.
The plan also supports a renewed focus on nuclear power.
An interim report was released on Tuesday by the Nebraska Energy Office. The report says renewable energy has the potential to be an industry that could transform the economy of the state.
It also encourages the state’s congressional delegation and others to “ease the path” to nuclear power generation in Nebraska and around the country.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is a division of the U.S. Department of Energy.