Renewable energy – generally

RENEW touts renewable energy’s value on Earth Day

Posted on April 20, 2012. Filed under: Renewable energy - generally |

A news release issued by RENEW Wisconsind based on a presentation by Don Wichert, RENEW executive director:

Renewable Energy Touted for Value on Earth Day

The price consumers pay for energy fails to account for the value of environmental improvement, energy diversity, and economic development, said Don Wichert, RENEW Wisconsin’s executive director, at an Earth Day information event at Wisconsin’s Capitol.

“In the case of solar energy, for example, this energy source offers the value proposition of very low or no air emissions, uses the energy available at the site, and keeps the energy dollars circulating through the local economy,” said Wichert.

Wichert compared renewable power to the value people pay for when choosing various vehicle transportation modes. Each takes you from one spot to another, but some offer more value that people are willing to pay for.

“Fossil based energy, in contrast, produces five to ten times more lifecycle green house gases, is dug out from the earth thousands of miles away from Wisconsin, and the majority of the money paid for this energy leaves the state,” Wichert said.

A recent survey of undecided Wisconsin voters showed that nearly 90% supported solar, wind, and hydro power as their preferred energy sources, according to Wichert.  “With thousands of examples of small distributed renewable energy applications in Wisconsin, as well as 12 wind farms, it’s clear that renewable energy works and has huge potential for the Badger state.”

All of the Earth Day presentations for “Wisconsin Climate Change and Jobs Forum, Challenges and Solutions” can be seen on the Capitol Eye network at Capitol Eye Earth Day Forum


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RENEW will speak at Earth Day event, April 19

Posted on April 12, 2012. Filed under: Climate change, Renewable energy - generally |

RENEW will participate in the forum.

WI Climate Change and Jobs Forum — Challenges and Solutions
Thursday, April 19th at the State Capitol

WHAT: With the warmest March on record, scientists, citizens and leaders will hold a Wisconsin Climate Change and Jobs Forum to discuss current and future climate change impacts on Wisconsin and explore cost-effective solutions to reduce greenhouse air pollution and create clean energy jobs in our state.

WHO: State leaders, UW climate experts, conservation group, public sector, business and labor leaders, State Rep. Brett Hulsey, and others.

WHEN: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 19th, 2012.

WHERE: GAR Hall, Room 417 North (4th Floor-North Wing) of the State Capitol, Madison, Wisconsin.

There will be a charge for pizza brought in for lunch.

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Session wrap-up: Wind lives! Bad bills stopped!

Posted on March 22, 2012. Filed under: Renewable energy - generally |

A wrap-up of the 2011-2012 legislative session from Michael Vickerman:

As RENEW Wisconsin’s new Program and Policy Director (see footnote below), I would like to report on recent results of the 2011-2012 legislative session. Though the session as a whole presented Wisconsin’s renewable energy community with unprecedented challenges and a few setbacks, we were able to fend off a number of bad proposals in the final days. Had these proposals been adopted, Wisconsin’s ability to support and host investments in renewable energy would have been permanently damaged.

As you probably know, the Legislature adjourned March 16 without taking any follow-up action on the wind siting rule (PSC 128). In doing so, the Legislature allowed the rule, which had been in a state of suspension for more than a year, to take effect. PSC 128 is now in effect, and it can’t be suspended by future Legislatures. More than four years has elapsed since RENEW spearheaded the process of forging a coalition (initially called the “Campaign for Sensible Wind Permitting”) to pass a bill requiring uniform standards for permitting wind turbines. Much blood, sweat and tears went into that legislative campaign (renamed “Wind for Wisconsin”) which culminated in the passage of 2009 Act 40 with bipartisan support. Then followed the drafting and redrafting of the siting rule itself, which proved to be more difficult process than we had first imagined.

Nevertheless, the PSC issued a strict but workable rule in December 2010. Even though what had emerged from the rulemaking process was a product of compromise and deliberation, the rule came under fire virtually the moment the Legislature convened in January 2011. After holding a stacked-deck hearing in February, the Legislature suspended PSC 128 on March 1, the day the rule was to take effect. Shortly thereafter, antiwind legislators circulated bills to repeal the rule outright (SB 50 and AB 72).

On a separate track, Sen. Frank Lasee, a Republican from Brown County, introduced a series of bills aimed at permanently crippling the wind industry in Wisconsin. Though these bills went nowhere, they succeeded in presenting an unwelcoming face to wind developers, and they responded by suspending or cancelling about a half dozen prospects throughout the state.

By March this year, it seemed to us that the momentum had shifted in our favor. Since the suspension of PSC 128, more than 17 or so newspapers had written editorials decrying the destructive nature of Lasee’s jihad and reiterated their support for a clear and consistently applied permitting process – exactly what PSC 128 rule was intended to provide. The signals coming from the legislative leadership strongly suggested that none of the antiwind bills referred to committee, including SB 50, the senate bill to permanently repeal PSC 128 and direct the PSC to issue a new rule , would be scheduled for a floor vote in the final two weeks of session.

But something happened around March 1st that changed the political calculus, and to everyone’s surprise, SB 50 appeared on the Senate calendar for the week of March 5. Theories abound as to why Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald reversed himself and allowed SB 50, which the wind industry viewed as the functional equivalent of a death warrant, onto the Senate floor. Unconfirmed reports attribute this last-minute switcheroo to extreme pressure that Sen. Lasee and his allies (former senator Bob Welch, now lobbyist for the Brown County antiwind group, and the Wisconsin Realtors Association, which had contributed generously to Republican office-seekers in the fall 2010 elections) exerted on Sen. Fitgerald.

When the Senate took the floor that Tuesday, the outlook looked grim. It appeared that the antiwind faction had at least the minimum 17 votes required to pass the bill. Wind energy supporters had little time to turn an unpromising situation around and build a firewall of support. But in those few hours they succeeded in denying Sen. Lasee the 17th vote he needed to send this bill to the Assembly. The following day, Lasee admitted defeat, and SB 50 was referred back to committee, a startling turnaround from the situation 24 hours earlier. The bill stayed there until its death the following Thursday, when the State Senate gaveled itself into the history books.

Notwithstanding PSC 128’s roller coaster ride culminating in the late-session cliffhanger vote that staved off its repeal, Wisconsin can now say, for the first time since 2007, that it is open for business in the wind energy development arena.

We are indebted to the law firm of Cullen, Weston Pines and Bach for their heroic efforts in keeping wind development alive in Wisconsin. Special thanks are in order for Lee Cullen, Jeff Vercauteren, Curt Pawlisch, and Chris Kunkle for building a firewall of support for PSC 128 that held firm under the extreme pressure applied by antiwind forces.

Further information on wind siting:
RENEW Cheers End of Wind Siting Impasse
March 16, 2012

Legislature lets wind turbine placement rules stand
March 19, 2012

AB 146 (Extending the Life of Unused Renewable Energy Credits)
Under current law, a Wisconsin electric provider can bank an unused Renewable Energy Credit (REC) for up to four years before using it to comply with Wisconsin’s Renewable Energy Standard. If not used within that four-year window, the REC expires. Last May, a bill was introduced (AB 146) to eliminate the shelf life of an unused REC. Passage of this bill would allow REC’s to be bankable into perpetuity, which would have the effect of diminishing the need for new sources of renewable electricity.

The Assembly Energy and Utilities Committee held a hearing on the bill in September. Among those in support of AB 146 were Wisconsin Utilities Association and various individual utilities. Among those joining RENEW in opposition to the bill were the American Wind Energy Association, Wind on the Wires and several independent wind developers; Wisconsin Counties Association; several private waste haulers; Dairy Business Association; Clean Wisconsin; Sierra Club; Citizens Utility Board, and the American Lung Association in Wisconsin. As events unfolded, the committee never did vote on AB 146. The bill died last Thursday, and is not likely to be resurrected in 2013.

Allowing Third-Party Sales of Energy to Host Customers

In an effort to expand and invigorate small-scale renewables in Wisconsin, RENEW asked two legislators (Rep. Gary Tauchen of Bonduel and Rep. Chris Taylor of Madison) to sponsor the drafting of legislation to authorize sales of energy from third party-owned renewable energy systems to host customers. The legislation would accomplish that objective by exempting renewable energy systems that serve the owners of the premises where they’re located from being regulated as public utilities. The exemption would be narrowly constructed to restrict the sale of that energy only to the host customer or the local utility.

Last Thursday, the Legislative Reference Bureau produced a revised bill draft that appears to be ready for introduction … next year, when a new Legislature is convened. In the meantime, RENEW plans to solicit support for this bill from such influential constituencies as farm groups, local governments, WMC, and large commercial enterprises. While the utilities may not support this kind of legislation, they could decide not to oppose the bill, especially if we build a bipartisan coalition of supporters.

1 In June, the Legislature took two steps back on renewable energy policy. First, it passed a bill watering down the state’s Renewable Energy Standard by allowing large-scale Canadian hydroelectric generation to become eligible renewable energy generators. Later that month, the Legislature approved a substantial cut to the annual budget of Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program. The budget for 2012 will be $20 million less than last year’s budget, which will diminish the supply of financial incentives available to support customer-sited renewable energy systems.

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RENEW Wisconsin Sets 2012 Energy Policy Action Plan

Posted on February 29, 2012. Filed under: Renewable energy - generally |

RENEW Wisconsin affirms that the road to a sustainable economy in Wisconsin runs through the state’s own clean renewable energy sources. Integrating locally available renewables into our economy engages a vast supply chain of local manufacturers, distributors and installers, farmers, builders, entrepreneurs, and related professional workers. Local renewables secure relatively clean, risk-free and low-maintenance energy to a state with no fossil fuel reserves. They also help keep energy dollars circulating within Wisconsin. It is imperative that we expand our commitment to renewables. An energy economy that depends on imported oil to haul finite supplies of coal from Wyoming and Pennsylvania is a dead-end for Wisconsin businesses, demanding ever rising fuel costs and exporting billions of dollars and jobs to other states. And energy efficiency, though a significant source of ratepayer savings, won’t correct the underlying vulnerability of a fossil-heavy resource mix.

Going into 2012, the policy framework that had supported steady growth in the renewable energy marketplace is being dismantled, as Wisconsin utilities and state government backpedal. The political and business consensus that brought us Wisconsin Act 141 in 2006 (10% RPS, restructured Focus on Energy, state government mandates) has broken down almost completely. But the policy case for the consensus remains as strong as it has ever been. To overcome the current challenges, to value clean renewable energy properly and to empower the businesses and citizens that make that happen, RENEW Wisconsin will press for the immediate implementation of durable policies that appropriately value renewable energy’s contribution to economic development, job creation, environmental protection, and customer choice. In so doing, we will employ the most effective messages and messengers for putting renewable energy back on track in Wisconsin and regaining the momentum that once made Wisconsin a model state.

To retake the initiative on clean renewable energy, we commit to the action plan in 2012
that appears below:

Organize stakeholders to articulate a public policy message on clean renewables
Policy decisions are made in a variety of legal, administrative, and institutional settings. RENEW will represent renewable energy supporters and stakeholders in these settings to convey formulated positions on policies that can potentially advance or weaken Wisconsin’s renewable energy marketplace. RENEW will provide the organized voice on renewables in Wisconsin through public advocacy and social media campaigns.

Increase funding for renewable energy in Focus on Energy program
Focus on Energy (Focus), the statewide energy efficiency and renewable energy program, has been a critically important driver for local clean renewable energy production and is a key factor why installation activity is higher here than in other Midwest states. In July 2011, Focus suspended awarding incentives for non-residential renewable energy projects, with no certainty of their return. Beginning in 2012, no clean renewable energy incentives are available through the Focus program. RENEW will launch an organized campaign targeted at Focus on Energy decision-makers to restore financial support to renewable energy systems serving Wisconsin’s residential, businesses, and nonprofit entities.

Taking the lead on wind permitting rules and issues in Wisconsin
The Wisconsin legislature passed the Wind Siting Law (2009 Act 40) to create one overarching siting law for all wind turbines subject to local review (≤ 100 MW). The law directed the Public Service Commission (PSC) to develop administrative rules that would establish certainty and consistency in the way local governments review and regulate wind energy systems. The PSC adopted a compromise rule in December 2010. Perversely, the Wisconsin Legislature suspended the rules in March 2011, precipitating many wind developers to suspend their operations in the state and focus their efforts elsewhere. RENEW will continue to shine a light on the economic and environmental damage caused by the rule suspension as part of a wider effort to get the administrative rules accepted as public law.

Advance third-party ownership of clean renewable energy systems
For economic reasons, most small-scale renewable energy facilities in the country are owned and installed by third parties. It is often easier for third parties to take advantage of federal credits and business depreciation, while relieving the property owner of the responsibility of financing the system and building it. RENEW will advance a policy fix that removes the legal ambiguities surrounding the sale of energy from third-party-owned systems to host customers.

Net energy billing policy overhaul
Net energy billing allows utility customers who produce clean renewable energy on-site to sell excess output back and receive the full retail rate for it up to the customer’s full usage. Codified in 1992, Wisconsin’s net energy billing policy has become woefully out-of-date, lagging behind other states that actively encourage customer generation of clean renewables. One of RENEW’s highest priorities is to push for a 21st century framework that increases maximum eligible system size and eliminates unnecessary and costly interconnection requirements.

Revive utility commitments to expand renewable energy
Until recently, many of Wisconsin utilities were leaders in the Midwest and nation in encouraging distributed clean renewable energy applications in their territories. However, many Wisconsin utilities are now backsliding on their initiatives and, in one instance, abandoned a major clean renewable commitment agreed to as part of a settlement agreement. RENEW will challenge these decisions at regulatory hearings, in court, at utility stockholder meetings, and in the popular media to reinstate and/or commit to new utility initiatives for advancing renewables.

Promote attractive renewable energy buyback policies
Nearly 50,000 utility customers in Wisconsin support clean renewable energy through paying higher rates each month for their electricity. As confirmed in recent polls, more than 75% of the population supports a greater commitment to clean renewable energy development. RENEW is working with partners to translate that demand for renewables into buyback policies and rates that encourage additional supplies of renewable energy from local producers.

Defend and repair Wisconsin’s 10% Renewable Energy Standard
RENEW formulated, and helped mobilize support for, a 10% renewable energy standard on electric utilities by 2015. Adopted in 2006, this modest standard is under attack from utilities, certain large industries, and hostile elements in the Legislature. Over RENEW’s objections, the standard was amended in 2011 to allow utilities to count generation from large Canadian hydro sources toward their renewable requirements. RENEW will work with allied organizations and policymakers to fight off other efforts to weaken Wisconsin’s six-year-old standard and to propose new polices that support in-state distributed renewable applications.

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RENEW to PSC: Specify a date for resumption of renewable program

Posted on February 15, 2012. Filed under: Energy Efficiency, Energy Policy, Renewable energy - generally |

Letter to Public Service Commission Regarding Focus on Energy
Support for Renewable Energy
February 14, 2012

In July 2011, Focus on Energy stopped accepting applications for funding new renewable energy installations owned by businesses, schools and local governments. Later that year, Focus on Energy expanded the suspension to cover residential customer-sited renewable energy systems as well. So far in 2012, Focus on Energy has not resumed accepting applications for new systems. While some installation activity is still occurring, the pipeline of previously approved renewable energy systems is starting to run low.

On January 30, RENEW Wisconsin presented an open letter to the Public Service Commission (PSC) requesting the rapid restoration of Focus on Energy financial support for renewable energy resources at historic levels. ( Signed by over 150 businesses, organizations, local officials and schools, the open letter was a clear and unequivocal statement of our desire to get back to work and expand the sustainable energy marketplace, strengthening Wisconsin’s economy and creating jobs and business opportunities in the process. Shortly thereafter, the PSC responded to our letter with one signed by Gas and Energy Division Administrator Robert Norcross, which is posted on its web site and other on-line forums.

The PSC letter begins with a defense of the funding suspension, which was prompted by the over-commitment of program dollars to renewable energy projects approved in previous years. The problem arose from a lack of internal controls at the program administrator level to balance approved obligations with available funding. As expressed in a July 2011 press release, RENEW acknowledged the agency’s responsibility to correct that deficiency and to ensure that future outflows do not exceed revenues.

We also support the PSC’s recent decision to allow public policy to influence and shape Focus on Energy’s renewable energy offerings. As noted by the PSC, the regulatory test used to determine Focus on Energy’s cost-effectiveness does not adequately capture the full range of benefits that renewable energy provides. To overcome these limitations, the PSC adopted new evaluation criteria to help the program administrator determine which renewable technologies should be funded in the future, and at what levels.

While an improvement, the new evaluation criteria may not be robust enough to support a renewable energy allocation at historic levels (roughly 10% of Focus on Energy’s annual revenues). It will be a challenge for the PSC to compensate for the significant weight that the PSC’s cost-effectiveness test gives to short-term energy savings, even with this new formula in place. This emphasis on short-term energy savings in the PSC’s cost-effectiveness test invariably puts renewable energy at a disadvantage compared with energy efficiency.

The theme of cost-effectiveness is reiterated throughout the PSC letter, leaving the reader with the impression that renewable energy is still something of a sideshow activity and certainly not an economic engine ready to power Wisconsin’s future. RENEW respectfully disagrees with that characterization. We take the audacious view that conventional generation sources have seen their heyday and that electricity supply additions in the future will center on renewable resources. With that in mind, we believe it makes more sense to measure the cost-effectiveness of distributed renewable energy against utility-scale renewable energy investments as opposed to energy efficiency investments.

In drawing comparisons between these two categories of renewable energy investments, a number of conclusions stand out.

1. When loads are flat and are expected to remain flat for the foreseeable future, distributed renewables are less likely to result in overcapacity and excess generation than utility-scale facilities.
2. Distributed renewable energy investments supported by Focus on Energy will occur within Wisconsin. This is an attribute that smaller-scale renewables share with energy efficiency, but not necessarily with utility-scale renewables.
3. With utility-scale renewable generating facilities, the entire cost of the investment is recovered through rates. With customer-owned renewable generation facilities supported by Focus on Energy, a significant fraction of the installation cost is borne by the owner.
4. The availability of customer-supplied capital for renewable energy capacity additions is enhanced through Focus on Energy incentives. Utility-owned renewable capacity additions have no effect on the availability of customer-supplied capital.

In our view, incremental increases in distributed renewable energy generation can result in long-term capacity substitutions that can justify retirements of older fossil generation units, something that energy efficiency by itself cannot achieve. But this benefit is not monetized in standard cost-effectiveness tests. This fact alone argues for an alternative approach to measuring the cost-effectiveness of renewable energy.

One element left unstated in the PSC’s letter is a date certain for the resumption of Focus on Energy funding support for renewables. The absence of a specified resumption date creates a climate of uncertainty that will likely result in project cancellations and workforce reductions. We urge the PSC to specify a target resumption date at the earliest moment possible.

Finally, we wish to respond to the following statement in the letter: “While the Focus on Energy program has an impressive payback, the over-inclusion of renewables in the portfolio has the potential to reduce the cost-benefit below the mandatory 1.0 ratio.”

This statement verges on hyperbole. It would take a combination of improbable events for that outcome to become a mathematical possibility, let alone reality. Even in early 2011, with renewable energy accounting for 25%-30% of total program allocations, the program was never in danger of achieving a negative cost-benefit ratio. Avoiding overstatements like the one above would go a long way toward rebuilding the confidence that the renewable energy community once had in Focus on Energy.

In the meantime, we at RENEW would be happy to provide assistance to the program administrator in evaluating the cost-effectiveness of future renewable energy investments in Wisconsin.


Michael Vickerman
Program and Policy Director

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RENEW leads Wisconsin’s renewable energy sector

Posted on February 6, 2012. Filed under: Renewable energy - generally |

From a story by Matt Grasson on Today’s Energy Solutions:

As with any successful project, there needs to be a strong leader. For Wisconsin’s renewable energy sector, that leader is RENEW Wisconsin. RENEW Wisconsin is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting economically and environmentally sustainable energy policies and practices within the state.

During their 20 years, RENEW Wisconsin has helped increase funding for the Focus on Energy program, coordinated a Midwest Wind Siting project, and created the Online Wind Energy Center.

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Small Businesses Request Resumption of Renewable Energy Support

Posted on January 31, 2012. Filed under: Energy Efficiency, Energy Policy, Focus on Energy/Public Benefits, General, Renewable energy - generally |


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Legislature should restore funding to Focus on Energy

Posted on January 27, 2012. Filed under: Energy Efficiency, Energy Policy, Renewable energy - generally |

From a guest commentary by Keith Reopelle and Charlie Higley in the Janseville Gazette:

In spring 2011, Gov. Scott Walker and legislative leaders significantly cut funding to Focus on Energy, the energy efficiency program that helps residents and businesses lower energy bills. A recent legislative audit demonstrates that the benefits of Focus on Energy more than double the program’s costs, and legislators should quickly restore lost funding in order to maximize the program’s cost-saving potential.

Focus on Energy was created in 2001 to help homeowners and businesses reduce energy costs. More than 2 million Wisconsin residents and businesses have participated in the program.

The statewide program helps keep energy bills affordable for all Wisconsinites by reducing energy use and preventing the need to build expensive new power plants and transmission lines that we all pay for with increased electricity bills.

In addition, Focus on Energy helps reduce the amount of money we spend to fuel our power plants. Wisconsin spends $12.5 billion every year on imported electricity and dirty, out-of-state fossil fuels. Much of that is spent on coal, oil and natural gas to generate electricity and heat our homes. Investing in energy efficiency is the No. 1 way we can reduce that and keep money circulating within our own economy.

The audit released by the bipartisan Legislative Audit Bureau confirms that Focus on Energy successfully lowers energy bills and provides environmental and economic benefits that far outweigh program costs. For every $1 invested, residents and businesses save more than $2 on energy bills, according to the audit. This helped save more than $264 million on energy bills in 2010 alone. Since its inception, Focus on Energy has helped residents and businesses save more than $2 billion. . . .

Keith Reopelle is senior policy director at Clean Wisconsin, the state’s largest environmental advocacy organization. Contact him at Charlie Higley is executive director of the Citizens Utility Board of Wisconsin. Contact him at

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Citizen and business action groups help leaders form energy policy

Posted on January 19, 2012. Filed under: Energy Policy, Renewable energy - generally |

From a report by Alex Brasch on RENEW’s Energy Policy Summit:

MADISON, Wis. – Can local governments work together with citizen action groups to effectively transition America away from reliance on fossil fuels? The answer in Wisconsin and Colorado seems to be yes.

Members of Wisconsin’s renewable energy industry convened in Madison for the RENEW Wisconsin Energy Policy Summit last week. The diverse crowd of renewable energy manufacturers, installers, state utilities, environmental advocacy groups, university representatives, and government officials, including Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, came together to focus their efforts on retaking the initiative in the fight for a more sustainable energy future for Wisconsin.

Members heard from keynote speaker Leslie Glustrom, a biochemist who belongs to a similar organization in Boulder, Colo. – a group that recently led a successful ballot initiative to authorize creation of a municipal utility in that city.

Don Wichert, founder of RENEW and former chief of energy resources with the Wisconsin Department of Administration and current director of renewable energy services at the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation created the advocacy group more than 20 years ago to address government officials about clean energy development in the state.

Wichert said Wisconsin spends nearly $6 billion per year on imported coal, petroleum, and natural gas. “As a renewable energy advocacy group composed of concerned citizens, clean energy businesses, environmental organizations, and government employees, RENEW Wisconsin seeks to change the way people think about and consume energy through a combination of advocacy, education, and creative partnerships with state and local governments, businesses, utilities, and citizen groups,” Wichert said.

Michael Vickerman, long-time executive director of RENEW, expressed optimism that, “despite current rollbacks of renewable energy policies, including the suspension of clean energy incentives and a weakening of state laws that leverage utility-purchased renewable energy, there is still a network of supportive local officials throughout the state.” He challenged advocates to resist acquiescing to the current political situation, and instead, use the sum influence of the clean energy industry, including non-profits and concerned citizens, to drum up support for clean energy development. Vickerman provided three guiding principles as a springboard to start discussion on how to retake the initiative.

First, reframe the message by presenting the industry’s true potential as a group of highly-motivated, dynamic organizations with a unifying business plan that will generate green jobs. Second, assert the fact that renewable energy is something intensely desired by businesses and citizens, because it gives customers more options, businesses increased market appeal, and a surefire pathway to more local jobs. And finally, pursue community-owned renewable projects that will keep energy production local and redirect investment into the area economy.

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Issue Briefs Released for RENEW’s Energy Policy Summit

Posted on January 9, 2012. Filed under: Energy Policy, Renewable energy - generally |

For immediate release:
January 9, 2012

More information:
RENEW Wisconsin
Michael Vickerman

Issue Briefs Released for RENEW’s Energy Policy Summit

To sharpen participant discussions at RENEW’s Energy Policy Summit on January 13 in Madison, RENEW Wisconsin issued several policy backgrounders addressing specific barriers to renewable energy development in Wisconsin, while outlining potential strategies for overcoming them.

“While these barriers are significant, they can be overcome with the right combination of well-thought-out policies and an engaged citizenry,” said Michael Vickerman, Executive Director of RENEW Wisconsin, a statewide, nonprofit renewable energy advocacy organization.

The issue briefs address specific facets within four broad categories that will be addressed in separate breakout discussions: expanding market access; economics of renewable energy production; regulatory environment; and, community-based energy.

In addition to familiar policies such as net energy billing, the breakout sessions will focus on market-based initiatives such as renewable energy credit aggregation and third-party contracting of renewable generation.

“In these breakout sessions, we will dive into various policies and practices and select those that belong in a viable renewable energy road map for 2012 and beyond,” Vickerman said.

“To build a truly sustainable energy future, we must come together as a team to decide upon and pursue the most intelligent policy options, taking into account today’s political and economic realities.”

The issue briefs and registration information on RENEW’s Energy Policy Summit can be found on the event website: RENEW Energy Policy Summit. The registration period will end at the close of business on Tuesday, January 10.

 – END –

RENEW Wisconsin is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that acts as a catalyst to advance a sustainable energy future through public policy and private sector initiatives. More information on RENEW’s Web site at

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