The Future is Now: Creating a 21st Century Energy Policy – Wisconsin’s Green Fire Opportunities Now 2021-2023 Report on Energy

WI Green Fire, March 3, 2021

Cover of Energy Report shows windmills next to a farm
Butler Ridge Wind Energy Center, Dodge County. Photo credit: Don Behm

Wisconsin needs an updated energy policy to reduce our dependence on a century-old and inefficient system built around large fossil-fueled power plants that use a regional transmission and distribution grid. Costs for solar and wind projects continue to fall, coal-fired power plants continue to close across the state, and distributed energy resources (DERs) hold great promise and an opportunity for Wisconsin to remake its outdated 20th century energy system.

In this new Opportunities Now report, we lay out a clear set of recommendations to tackle these issues. These recommendations can help Wisconsin chart a path towards an energy system that is cleaner, more reliable, equitable, and increasingly decentralized with local generation and local ownership of power sources.

Key recommendations include:

  • Establish greater energy efficiency standards for utilities to better control power demand and reduce carbon emissions.
  • Establish incentives for performance-based ratemaking or a similar system to prod investor-owned utilities to comply with clean energy goals. Performance-based ratemaking is a policy option that links electric utility revenue to specific performance goals.
  • Include the pubic in Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) encompassing long-term resource generation, transmission, and distribution.
  • Identify the public and other stakeholders as equal partners in Wisconsin’s energy future.
  • Include local government in planning electricity generation, transmission, and distribution currently controlled by utilities.

Download the report: The Future is Now – Creating a 21st Century Energy Policy

This report is the third in a series of Opportunities Now 2021-2023 issue reports that Wisconsin’s Green Fire is releasing in the coming months. The first report on wolves can be found here and the second report on PFAS can be found here.

Media Coverage of the Opportunities Now 2021-2023 report on Energy:
WXPR’s March 10th, 2021 story: Wisconsin’s Green Fire Urges Wisconsin to Update Energy Policy to Keep Up with Changing Technology WGF Energy Policy Workgroup Co-Chair Gary Radloff is interviewed for this story.