Wisconsin Announces Clean Energy Plan, $150 Million in Energy Independence Funds

March 26, 2008

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle launched his state energy plan, Clean Energy Wisconsin, on March 25. In support of that plan, he also announced the Department of Commerce will begin taking applications for the first round of $150 million in grants for renewable energy projects. Both the plan and the funding emphasize the state's biomass potential.

The Clean Energy Wisconsin goals include:

  • Generating 25 percent of the state's electricity and 25 percent of its transportation fuels from renewable sources by 2025
  • Capturing 10 percent of the national market share for renewable energy and bioproducts
  • Becoming a national leader in alternative energy research.

The governor's plan lists its objectives as promoting an affordable, renewable, and diverse energy supply; investing in job creation and new business opportunities; and improving the environment.

Doyle also announced that beginning April 1, the Wisconsin Department of Commerce will take applications for grants from the new Wisconsin Energy Independence Fund.

The department expects to award $15 million annually in grants and loans for the next 10 years for renewable energy research. The effort is expected to leverage nearly $1 billion in private investment and create new jobs on Wisconsin farms and in its forests, research labs, and manufacturing plants. The application period for the first round of funding ends June 2.

In 2006, Wisconsin citizens spent $19.5 billion dollars on energy. Of that, $5.7 billion was spent on electricity, with much of the fuel being purchased from out-of-state. Currently, only about 5 percent of the state's electricity is generated from renewable sources, but that fraction generates $184 million a year for the Wisconsin economy. The state says producing 25 percent of its electricity from local renewable sources would generate nearly $1 billion for the economy.

For more information, read the governor's March 25 press release and the Clean Energy Wisconsin plan. To learn more about the grants, visit the Wisconsin Energy Independence Fund Web site.

To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Wisconsin, see: