Bill aims to create jobs and transition Wisconsin to a clean energy economy

MADISON — By the year 2030, 30 percent of the electricity in Wisconsin would be generated by renewable sources under a plan unveiled today in the state Legislature called the Wisconsin Renewable Energy Act. The proposal would build significantly on the current standard for 10 percent renewables by 2015.

“Although Wisconsin was once a leader in renewable energy development, other states are now making major gains toward cleaner air and sustainable power sources,” said Keith Reopelle, senior policy director for Clean Wisconsin, the state’s largest environmental advocacy organization. “Increasing the Renewable Portfolio Standard will make Wisconsin even more attractive and competitive for families and businesses for many years to come.”

State Sen. Mark Miller joined Reps. Katrina Shankland, Cory Mason and Fred Clark along with members of the renewable energy business community to introduce the legislation. The bill increases the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 30 percent by 2030 while supporting efficient growth and development of clean energy statewide. It also clarifies the process and compensation for people who generate their own power and feed excess back to the grid.

“Especially when you consider that Wisconsin sends more than $12 billion out of state every year to import fossil fuels, there are sound economic reasons to support a thriving, home-grown renewable energy marketplace,” said Reopelle. “Also, as the EPA prepares to establish carbon pollution rules, it is extremely important for all of Wisconsin’s utility managers to take a serious look at reducing our dependence on dirtier sources of energy.”