Wisconsin to Double Use of Renewables by 2010

The State of Wisconsin will double the use of renewable energy by 2010.

MADISON, Wisconsin, US, 2001-06-25 [SolarAccess.com] The State of Wisconsin will double the use of renewable energy by 2010. Governor Scott McCallum has released an energy strategy that contains a series of initiatives to increase conservation and energy efficiency, as well as the use of renewable energy in the state. “Conservation, efficiency and creating renewable energy options in the State of Wisconsin must be as much of a priority in an energy plan as other measures,” he says. “In my plan, they are.” Among the initiatives are directions to evaluate and expand the amount of renewable energy required in the state’s electric renewable energy portfolio. Currently, Wisconsin requires less than 2 percent of its portfolio to be from renewable energy. The plan will also establish a renewable energy program that showcases new technologies for buildings and heating systems, and will create public-private partnerships to demonstrate and lower the costs of on-farm energy production. Renewable energy provides a good return on the investment, and creates three times as many jobs, earnings and output than does investment in fossil fuels, and he adds, “I’m placing a renewed emphasis on conservation efforts by making the Wisconsin Focus on Energy Program one of the cornerstones of my energy policy.” The Focus on Energy program is designed to build a sustainable energy efficiency market with a major focus on conservation. The program has been incorporated into the Governor’s energy policy plan. The plan will direct the state to identify and capture the full range of benefits to be achieved through the wise use of energy. “Energy efficiency and renewable programs can and must meet a cost/benefit standard that reflects an acceptable rate of return on the investment of public funds,” say documents. He will direct state agencies to continue efforts to coordinate environmental compliance, energy regulation and energy efficiency measures, and will direct the establishment of an energy impact statement to assess the state’s energy policies. The package will also add 6,300 MW of electric capacity and build a 250 mile,$175 million high-voltage transmission line from Duluth to the Wausau area. McCallum is not seeking more money to fund the plan, although tax breaks in the proposal will reduce state revenue. He will direct Wisconsin’s Cooperative Educational Service Agencies to accelerate energy efficiency measures into the construction and renovation of school buildings, and will expand a program to allow homeowners to quantify the value of energy efficiency improvements in residential property. He will promote the federal Energy Star® and similar national voluntary programs whenever feasible and will expand existing energy efficiency programs for production agriculture that focus on dairy farms and rural communities.
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