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Infra Views

Enabling Wind Power Nationwide

Friday, May 22nd, 2015
Figure ES-1. Land area achieving a minimum 30% net capacity factor by grid cell, based on current technology, larger rotor designs and a 140-m hub height

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Today, wind energy provides nearly 5% of the nation’s total electricity generation. With 65 gigawatts (GW) deployed, utility-scale installations in 39 states, and wind power generation exceeding 12% in 11 of those states, wind is a demonstrated clean, affordable electricity resource for the nation. Research and industry experience indicate that wind can be deployed at higher levels while maintaining grid reliability.

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Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
Chart 1. Share of rural population in each state.

TRIP
An aging and increasingly diverse rural America plays a vital role as home to a significant share of the nation’s population, natural resources and tourist destinations. It is also the primary source of the energy, food and fiber that drive the U.S. economy. Rural Americans are more reliant on the quality of their transportation system than their urban counterparts.

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It’s About Time: The Transit-Time Penalty and its Racial Implications

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015
Twin Cities Homeownership, Poverty, and High School Graduation Rates, by Racial and Ethnic Group

NEIGHBORHOODS ORGANIZING FOR CHANGE
TAKE ACTION MN
ISAIAH
THE CENTER FOR POPULAR DEMOCRACY
Transit has many individual and community benefits—from improved safety and cost savings to enhanced personal and environmental health. However, across the nation, trips to work by public transportation take twice as long as trips to work by single-occupancy vehicle. While 68 percent of commutes by people who drove alone last less than 30 minutes, more than half (53 percent) of public transportation commutes are 45 minutes or longer. These travel-mode disparities have racial outcomes: national data show that people of color rely on public transportation for their commutes at significantly higher rates than whites.

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A Roadmap for Resilience: Investing in Resilience, Reinvesting in Communities.

Friday, May 15th, 2015
Figure 1: Overview of the RE.invest Process & Lessons Learned

THE RE:INVEST INITIATIVE
This report is designed to inspire a wide range of readers interested in addressing the challenge of creating a robust pipeline of investable resilient infrastructure projects. It captures how RE.invest reimagined the predevelopment process for resilient infrastructure to integrate early design and financing decisions and help cities make the leap from crafting a vision for resilience to generating a set of financeable large-scale projects.

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The New Wave of Water Innovation

Thursday, May 14th, 2015
Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s Westerly Wastewater Treatment Plant cleans water before it’s returned to Lake Erie. Photo Credit: John Quinn

VALUE OF WATER COALITION
This briefing paper, issued by the Value of Water Coalition, spotlights innovative solutions to the nation’s growing water challenges. Through capital investments, technological innovations, creative financing tools, and cross-sector partnerships, water leaders are building stronger communities and a stronger America.

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Expanding Opportunity Through Infrastructure Jobs

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
Figure 1: Total Employment, By Selected Industry Sectors, 2013

BROOKINGS INSTITUTION
METROPOLITAN POLICY PROGRAM
The need to invest in U.S. infrastructure has never been clearer, making it all the more critical to take a fresh look at infrastructure’s importance to the labor market, both to drive long-lasting growth and to expand economic opportunity across the entire workforce—two elements often missing from the current narrative on infrastructure and jobs.

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Financing U.S. Transportation Infrastructure in the 21st Century

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015
FIGURE 1. Public Infrastructure Spending by Federal, State, and Local Governments, 1956–2014

THE HAMILTON PROJECT
Most Americans feel the burden of a weakening transportation infrastructure. The evidence is right in front of us: in poor road and bridge conditions, aging airports and seaports, weak passenger rail service, and inadequate public transportation. Most economists and government leaders agree on the merits of upgrading these systems to improve productivity, global competitiveness, and job creation. Most also agree that our nation would benefit from federal action on infrastructure. There are disagreements, however, on which investments to make and how to pay for them, and these disagreements have led to counterproductive inaction.

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Weighing Maryland’s Economic Future

Monday, May 11th, 2015
The Red Line is a 14.1-mile light rail transit line with 19 proposed stations, connecting Woodlawn in suburban West Baltimore County with Bayview in east Baltimore City, by way of downtown Baltimore.

TRANSPORTATION FOR AMERICA
The two major rail transit lines planned for Maryland represent a significant investment in the state’s future and economy. Drawing from experience across the nation, this report attempts to assess the full range of potential economic benefits from construction of the Purple Line, connecting Maryland’s Washington, D.C. suburbs, and the Red Line, providing east-west connections between Baltimore and its suburbs. Given the number of regions across the country contemplating similar investments, we offer this report as something of a template for how to make a comprehensive assessment of economic impacts.

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Who Pays For Roads?

Friday, May 8th, 2015
Figure 1. Percentage of Highway Spending from Various Sources, All Levels of Government

FRONTIER GROUP
U.S. PIRG EDUCATION FUND
Many Americans believe that drivers pay the full cost of the roads they use through gas taxes and other user fees. That has never been true, and it is less true now than at any other point in modern times. Today, general taxes paid by all taxpayers cover nearly as much of the cost of building and maintaining highways as the gas tax and other fees paid by drivers. The purchasing power of gasoline taxes has declined as a result of inflation, improved vehicle fuel economy, and the recent stagnation in driving. As a result, so-called “user fees” cover a shrinking share of transportation costs.

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Tapping Iowa’s Wind Resources to Reduce CO2 Emissions

Thursday, May 7th, 2015
Of particular interest is the corollation especially observable in the 2010 – 2012 years, between the CO2

IOWA WIND ENERGY ASSOCIATION
In a conservative scenario it is estimated that Iowa wind could easily contribute a reduction of 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually to the region outside of Iowa, and in a more optimistic but still moderate scenario Iowa’s contribution could easily be over 36 million metric tons annually.

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