Homegrown energy is hidden pot of gold
From a news release from the Homegrown Renewable Energy Campaign, a coalition of RENEW Wisconsin, Wisconsin Farmers Union, Clean Wisconsin, and Michael Fields Agriculture Institute:
Madison, Wis – Farmers and owners of renewable energy companies gathered for Homegrown Energy Day at the state Capitol today to ask legislators to pass strong policies encouraging the production of clean, renewable energy in the Clean Energy Jobs Act.
“Homegrown energy is a hidden pot of gold for Wisconsin’s rural communities,” said Jamie Derr, farmer and owner of Derr Solarmass LLC. “By producing our own energy from agricultural waste and natural resources, we can create an important new source of revenue for Wisconsin’s farmers and rural communities.”
By harnessing energy from the sun, wind, crops like switchgrass, and even waste products like manure and crop remnants left on fields after harvest, Wisconsin farmers have become a leader in the production of clean, renewable energy. Unfortunately, current policy prevents farmers from actively competing in the energy market, and, as a result, Wisconsin residents send $16 billion dollars out of state every year out to purchase fossil fuels.
“Passing policies that foster the growth of homegrown energy production will not only help farmers increase revenue, it will also give an economic boost to companies like mine that manufacture renewable energy technologies such as manure digesters, solar panels, and residential wind turbines,” said Dan Nemke, general
manager of Clear Horizons, a manure digester manufacturer located in Milwaukee. “Why should we continue to ship $16 billion a year out of state for dirty fossil fuels when we can produce our own clean,
renewable energy and keep money flowing right here in Wisconsin?”