Since 1985, Nebraska's ethanol industry has grown dramatically. Nebraska is now the third-largest ethanol-producing state in the nation - and the largest ethanol-producing state west of the Missouri River. Abundant corn and competitive rail transportation puts Nebraska in prime position to serve key ethanol markets in California, the Southwest, and the Pacific Northwest.
Nebraska's educated and well-trained labor pool, along with low unemployment and workers' compensation insurance rates, complements the state's agricultural industry. Grounded in economic stability, the state is primed for the development of innovative businesses that support the ethanol and biofuels industries.
Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), the state's largest electric utility, works with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Nebraska Department of Revenue, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, Nebraska Ethanol Board, and Nebraska Corn Board, along with state universities and colleges, to support and encourage the stability of these industries in the state. Factors contributing to Nebraska's advantage include:
• Nebraska's location on the western edge of the Corn Belt: In combination with excellent rail transportation resources, Nebraska provides a significant transportation cost advantage for serving West Coast ethanol markets. NPPD's nationally recognized and searchable website, www.sites.nppd.com, provides information on available sites and buildings, energy and labor costs, community profiles, community facts books, census population characteristics, and industry profitability studies.
• Abundant corn supply: Nebraska produces significantly more corn than it uses for animal feed and other processing. The large amount of Nebraska's corn exported to other areas represents an important resource for continued expansion of ethanol production.
• Future corn availability: Forecasts show an anticipated increase in corn yields over the next 10 years of 17 percent, resulting in an estimated increase in Nebraska corn production from 1.27 billion bushels for the 2005-06 crop year to 1.51 billion bushels for the 2015-16 crop year. Projections of feed use for the same period show a significant decrease due to the additional availability of the distillers grains products.
• Nebraska's unmet market for distillers grain feed material: The number of cattle produced in Nebraska can consume significantly more distillers grain feed material than currently produced. This is a market that can be served with modified wet distillers grain feed material, thereby resulting in a significant energy cost reduction for ethanol producers.
• Industrial rates 42 percent below the national average: In 2005, the state's industrial electric rates were one-third less than the national average; by 2006, this advantage had widened to 42 percent less. This is due, in part, to other regions generating more of their electricity with natural gas. Nebraska, on the other hand, enjoys a diverse fuel mix of coal, nuclear, water, wind, and other fossil fuels.
• Nebraska communities welcome ethanol investments: Nebraskans recognize that ethanol facilities provide a positive stimulus for rural economies, including the creation of good jobs, increases in assessed valuation and local property taxes, and the creation of indirect jobs and income in other sectors supporting the ethanol plants. Because of this significant impact to rural economies, Nebraska communities welcome ethanol, biotech, and related businesses.
Learn more of what NPPD's Economic Development Team can do for you.
Dennis G. Hall, CEcD, Economic Development Mgr.
Nebraska Public Power District
P.O. Box 499
Columbus, NE 68602
Tel: 800-282-6773, ext. 5534