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Report Charts Renewable Energy Pathway for Rural Energy Cooperatives

Rural Electrification 2.0: The Transition to a Clean Energy Economy, a report from the Center for Rural Affairs, We Own It, and Clean Up the River Environment (CURE), shows that many rural energy cooperatives could save money by retiring existing coal plants and turning to solar and wind energy. Drops in the price per megawatt of wind and solar mean these clean energy sources could be affordable in rural areas with high energy costs. The report notes that rural areas host clean energy infrastructure such as transmission lines, wind turbines, and utility-scale solar, but ironically, little of this energy is used in rural communities. This report concludes that “rural communities could better pursue a clean energy future if current debt on existing coal plant infrastructure could be eliminated in exchange for a requirement to invest in clean energy and energy efficiency.”