A new report says Missouri could become a real center for wind power, biomass, biogas and other sources of renewable energy, while creating thousands of jobs and more tax revenues, especially in rural areas of the state.
This story in the St. Louis Business Journal says the Natural Resources Defense Council report points out that Missourians spend more than $18 billion a year on energy for their homes, vehicles and businesses:
That comes to $3,000 in energy costs for each person in Missouri, and most of those dollars leave the state because 84 percent of Missouri’s electricity is generated using coal, almost all of which is shipped in from Wyoming, according to the report.
Among the report’s findings:
* Wind power — 25 moderate-scale wind farms would provide thousands of construction jobs, 550 permanent construction jobs, $15 million in property tax revenue and $75 million in ongoing positive local economic impact in Missouri.
* Biofuels — Cellulosic ethanol, which is made from crop waste and nonfood plants, could create thousands of jobs, hundreds of millions of dollars of economic activity and $13,000 in annual gross income for the average Missouri corn farmer.
* Solid biomass — Replacing 20 percent of Missouri’s coal usage with locally grown biomass would create an estimated 11,000 jobs.
* Biogas — Biogas production from cattle waste would be profitable at more than 200 large-scale livestock operations in 60 Missouri counties.
“Within Missouri’s borders are vast resources of wind, land and water — all the ingredients needed for Missouri to become a national leader in new energy development, creating tens of thousands of good jobs and substantial new sources of income for farmers,” said Martin Cohen, the energy policy analyst who authored the report.
You can read the entire report here.