Resources for Safe, Just and Sustainable Living
Wisconsin relies on coal for 62% of its electric generation. In 2016, 10% of the state's electricity came from renewable power sources which includes solar, wind and biomass. But that's still below the 13% average nationwide, according to figures from the Energy Information Administration. Unfortunately, Wisconsin is behind many of our neighboring states. By comparison, In Iowa, over 30% of the power comes from renewables, and in Minnesota it's 17%. Wisconsin ranks eighth in the nation in ethanol production for motor fuels at 537 million gallons.
In its 26th year, RENEW Wisconsin continues to advance renewable energy policies for Wisconsin through advocacy, education, and collaborative initiatives. RENEW is at the policy and regulation table every day representing over 60 Business Members conducting renewable energy business in Wisconsin as well as over 300 individuals and other organizations who share our vision for Wisconsin.
Solar for Good Solar for Good will offer small grants for technical assistance to get projects started and see them through to success. Solar for Good will help publicize funded projects to spread the word and educate Wisconsin about the benefits of solar.
John Mellencamp sings "Dark as a Dungeon" a 1946 song by Merle Travis that describes the harsh and dangerous conditions coal miners face. See National Geographic Doc "From the Ashes".
More than 280 coal plants continue to operate in the U.S., with 20 Americans dying each day from coal pollution.
A long-time bastion of support for solar energy, MREA offers a wide range of training programs for solar PV, solar thermal and small-scale wind. MREA also helps communities expand access to solar through technical assistance, solar group buy programs and training for inspectors and installers. Most notably, now in its 29th year, MREA hosts the nation’s longest-running renewable energy and sustainability event in Custer, WI. Save the date to join us next summer: June 15-17, 2018!
City of Milwaukee SHINES Group Buy program
MREA Training Facility
A solar group buy is when community members form a group and use their collective buying power to save on the total cost of going solar. The program can help Milwaukee residents invest in lower cost solar installations through the power of volume purchasing. The group buys are open to all Southeastern Wisconsin residents and business owners. Solar group buys have been completed in several Milwaukee neighborhoods, including Washington Heights, Layton Boulevard West, Bayview, Riverwest and the East Side, and now we conduct city-wide solar group buy programs.
As a result, 170 home and business owners have installed new solar electric and solar hot water systems totaling 616 kW of clean, renewable energy!
Perhaps the most economical use of solar electricity is for charging an electric car, as you'll be offsetting the cost of gasoline or diesel fuel. Because an electric motor is several times more efficient than an internal combustion or diesel engine, even if using grid power (coal or gas), you'll still be coming out ahead in terms of lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Ford, Chevy and Nissan offer competitively priced electric cars with a 200+ mile range. Tesla Motors projects availability of its new Model 3 sedan in 2018.
Our mission is to reduce dependence on petroleum-based fuels, promote the use of alternative fuels and technologies, and improve air quality. Wisconsin Clean Cities strives to advance our nation's economic, environmental and energy security by supporting local actions to reduce petroleum consumption in the transportation sector.
New Utility scale solar projects
The state's largest utility has plans to own and develop 350 megawatts of solar power by 2020 at a site to be determined and a 100 megawatt plant is planned next to the Point Beach nuclear power plant near Two Rivers.
Wisconsin has installed 632 MW of wind turbines, enough to provide power for 700,000 homes. Wisconsin's largest wind farm with 92 turbines is the Glacier Wind Park project northeast of Madison. WE Energies operates the 90-turbine farm which generates 162 MW of power, enough for 45,000 homes. WE Energies also operates the 88-turbine Blue Sky Green Field Wind Center in Fond du Lac County.
Biofuels include ethanol and biodiesel. Ethanol burns far cleaner than gasoline and does not include the complex of toxic chemicals present in gasoline. Biodiesel also burns much cleaner than diesel fuel, serves as a superior engine lubricant and can be made from commonly available waste materials and algae. Also, both ethanol and biodiesel can be domestically produced and therefore avoid much of the human pain and suffering and environmental destruction caused by fossil fuel extraction.
The Wisconsin biofuels industry employs more than 19,000 Wisconsin workers. Nine ethanol production facilities around Wisconsin support jobs in rural communities and produce more than 500 million gallons of ethanol annually. These jobs generate nearly $100 million in wages for Wisconsin families each year.