Clean Energy in Chicago: Why Windy Suburbs Matter

Featured, Peter Zeihan

By Peter Zeihan

What do Chicago, Denver, and DFW all have in common? Yes, they are all major metro areas in the US, but more importantly, they’re co-located with green energy sources. As the world adopts more and more clean energy, these regions with localized energy sources will have a huge leg up on places like New York, Berlin, and London.

Finding a metro (where people actually want to live) surrounded by wind and solar potential is rare…it just so happens that the US is home to most of these regions. For places not so geographically blessed, the main concern becomes transporting the power from the source to the city. This can often span hundreds, even thousands of miles, and that distance puts up a number of red flags.

Clean Energy Around Chicago

There are the obvious concerns of transmission loss, equipment, and overall economic viability, but once you start transporting power across states and grids, you have to deal with regulatory issues as well. The federal system in the US means that national, state, and local governments all share power. So transporting energy is no simple task.

It will take an act (or two or three) of Congress before the flow of green energy is freed up; that’s not going to be a quick process. The metros with green energy sources nearby will have a huge advantage in the years to come. So if you need a place to move, I hear DFW could use a few more green-friendly folks.