Advancing Wisconsin's Clean Energy Future: 2014 & Beyond


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Sierra Club - John Muir Chapter's renewable energy and energy efficiency work in Wisconsin.

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Advancing Wisconsin's Clean Energy Future: 2014 & Beyond

  1. 1. Shahla Werner, Sierra Club – John Muir Chapter 222 South Hamilton St, #11, Madison, WI 53703 (608) 256-0565 How Clean Energy Can Create a Brighter Future for Wisconsin
  2. 2. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change: 2013 IPCC Report • Concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide are at their highest levels in 800,000 years. • Each of the last 3 decades has been warmer than any preceding decade since 1850 • The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have been losing mass over past 2 decades; sea level is rising; oceans acidifying
  3. 3. Climate Change: A note of Urgency “We have at most ten years—not ten years to decide upon action, but ten years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions. If instead we follow an energy-intensive path of squeezing liquid fuels from tar sands, shale oil, and heavy oil, and do so without capturing and sequestering CO2 emissions, climate disasters will become unavoidable.” - James Hansen, Adjunct Professor, Columbia University, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences; Former Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Science
  4. 4. US Greenhouse Gas Sources Commercial and Residential 11.00% Agriculture 8.00% Electricity 33.00% Transportation 28.00% Industry 20.00% • Fossil-fuel based Electricity (used to power and heat our homes, hospitals, and schools) is the Largest Source of GHG • In 2011, the US emitted 6,702 million metric tons of CO2 Equivalent (6.9% below 2005 levels) - EPA Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2011
  5. 5. Local Climate Change Impacts Not just an environmental problem, but also an economic and public health issue Lautenbach's Orchard in Fish Creek reduced yields from 8-10 million pounds to 500,000 lbs in 2012 due to the extreme drought (Rick Evans) Early spring blossoms and late freeze caused WI apple crop to decrease by 31 million pounds in 2012 Gov. Scott Walker sought federal disaster aid for 11 Wisconsin counties after June 2013 flooding caused more than $9.2 million in damage to roads and infrastructure
  6. 6. Sierra Club’s WI Clean Energy Victories • Blocking Alliant Energy’s proposed 300 MW coal plant • Prompting UW Charter Street and We Energies’ Valley power plants to Move Beyond Coal • Retiring old coal plants at Dairyland’s Alma Plant, & Alliant Energy’s Nelson Dewey and Edgewater Plants • Supporting uniform wind turbine siting across WI, needed to overcome conflicting local ordinances • Garnering approval for SC Johnson’s to supply 15% of electricity at their Waxdale facility with local wind • Blocking bills to allow utilities to buy outdated clean energy credits, enact extreme wind siting setbacks, & lower energy rates for high volume users
  7. 7. Wisconsin’s Clean Energy Policies Act 141, passed in 2006 Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS): Requires utilities to get 10% of electricity from renewable sources (wind, solar, biomass) by 2015. Energy Efficiency: Requires Wisconsin utilities to invest 1.2% of revenues in Focus on Energy in 2001.
  8. 8. Wisconsin’s Clean Energy Challenges • Wisconsin’s utilities have already nearly met current renewable energy standards. Little new development is likely unless new goals are passed. • Tough political climate. Legislators temporarily suspended wind siting rules last session, prompting loss of at least 4 major wind projects (150 MW Ledge Wind Energy Project; 98 MW Stony Brook; 100 MW Green Lake; 50 MW Chilton). Other bills have been introduced that allow exemption from wind standards, freezing RPS at 10%, and encouraging neighbors to sue wind developers. • WI has surplus of power as a result of new coal plants constructed recently
  9. 9. Renewable Energy Policies Needed to Move Wisconsin Forward Improve Wisconsin’s Renewable Energy Standard: require utilities to generate at least 25% of electricity from renewables by 2025 Clean Energy Choice: Allows property owners to lease roof space to 3rd party renewable energy system owners, removing up-front solar costs. 22 other states allow (Support Resolutions have passed in Crawford, Dane, Eau Claire La Crosse, Polk, Rock and Waupaca County). Net metering: Customers feed extra electricity they generate into grid; sell to utility. WI should raise 20 kW net-metering cap and annually average credits.
  10. 10. WI: 10% by 2015 5880 MW by 2015 ME 10% by 2017 NH 24.8% by 2025 MA: 15% by 2020 RI: 16% by 2020 CT: 27% by 2020 PA: 18% by 2021 NJ: 20% by 2021 MD 20% by 2022 DE: 25% by 2026 DC: 20% by 2020 WA: 15% by 2020 OR: 25% by 2025 CA: 33% by 2020 NV: 25% by 2025 10% by 2015 MN: 25% by 2025 IL: 25% by 2025 IA: 105 MW NY: 29% by 2015 OH: 13% by 2024 MT: 15% by 2015 CO: 30% by 2020 AZ: 15% by 2025 NM: 20% by 2020 KS: 20% by 2020 HI: 40% by 2030 MO: 15% by 2021 NC: 12.5% by 2021 Wisconsin Lags Behind Other States with Renewable Standards 29 states (+ DC and 2 territories) have a renewable portfolio standard, including 18 which require a percentage to come from solar.
  11. 11. Wisconsin is Lagging Behind Our Neighbors in Wind Energy
  12. 12. Closing Wisconsin for Clean Energy Business has Consequences
  13. 13. Hooray for the Highland Wind Farm! The Highland Wind Farm is a clean energy project proposed for the Town of Forest (St. Croix County). The proposed farm would include 41 turbines and generate 102.5 megawatts of electricity, enough to supply clean energy to 25,000 homes. An organized group of opponents pressured the Public Service Commission to deny the project twice. The PSC decided to reopen the case this summer. Sierra Club, RENEW, & Clean WI encouraged 100’s to the attend the public hearing & submit positive comments to the PSC. The PSC APPROVED the Wind Farm by a vote of 2-1 on September 26, 2013! The Highland Wind Farm will create over 100 jobs during construction and up to 8 permanent jobs. Over the next 30 years, it will provide over $6.8 million in revenue to St. Croix County.
  14. 14. An Enhanced Renewable Electricity Standard would Revitalize Wisconsin’s Economy • A 2009 Blue Green Alliance report found that Wisconsin could create 35,000 new manufacturing jobs by 2025 with an enhanced renewable portfolio standard. • Over 200 Wisconsin companies currently provide products and services to the wind industry. • 1,000 MW of new wind development in Wisconsin would create: 3,041 construction & 425 operation and maintenance jobs. • Current wind developments provide Wisconsin farmers $1.3 million in income and $1.6 million in tax revenues to local governments annually. Sources: Wind Today, 2009. Vol. 4, No. 3, at 34-38.; The New North, 2009. Wisconsin Wind Works Directory.
  15. 15. Can WI Learn More From our German Heritage Than Beer Brewing? Germany’s renewable tariff program has helped it become a world leader in renewable energy generation. More than 20% of the solar energy generated in the world is produced in Germany, who had 32,643 MW installed by 2012 (WI: 13 MW) As the largest producer of renewable energy in the world, Germany has 280,000 people employed in the renewable energy sector. Germany has a climate similar to Wisconsin. We can generate renewable energy from a diverse array of resources, including wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower. Source: National Journal, April, 2009, Stokes, Bruce. Let the Solar Shine In.
  16. 16. The Time for Solar is Now!
  17. 17. Solar Gets more Affordable Every Year Solar energy costs have dropped dramatically since the 1970’s, when the cost was $75/watt. At the same time, solar panel efficiency has been getting better and better. The cost of a solar system dropped by 27% in 2012 alone!
  18. 18. Sierra Club’s new Clean Energy Video (Click to View)
  19. 19. Wisconsin’s Policies Threaten Solar Jobs, Hurt Homeowners • Focus on Energy Rebates for residential renewable energy systems were suspended in Wisconsin in September 2013 • Homeowners will no longer get a rebate of $1,200 or more to help offset the cost of residential solar • This hurts Wisconsin’s 135 solar energy businesses
  20. 20. An Enhanced RPS Reduces Dependence on Fossil Fuels Since 1990, greenhouse gas emissions have increased 22% in Wisconsin. 4 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions have been avoided due to renewable energy and energy efficiency measures already in place in WI. Increasing our use of renewable energy will keep more money within local economies, which reduces the $16 billion sent out-of-state annually to pay for coal, petroleum, and natural gas. Source: Wisconsin Office of Energy Independence, 2008. 2008 Wisconsin Energy Statistics, at 3. Wisconsin Environment, June, 2006. Madsen, T., Wholschlegel, K., Kohler, D. Wisconsin’s Clean Energy Future: How Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Protect our Environment and Create New Jobs.
  21. 21. The costs utilities will incur serving their retail customers from now until 2025 – keeping the RPS at 10% – is $66.2 billion. Under an Enhanced RPS, that cost would be $67.9 billion, less than a 3% difference. Wisconsin’s RPS includes a credit trading system, which provides a market-based mechanism to allow electric service providers to meet their obligations under the RPS in the most cost-effective way. Enacting strong energy efficiency goals at the same time as we enact an enhanced RPS will cause energy bills to go down. The Minimal Cost of an Enhanced RPS Source: Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, April, 2009. Strategic Energy Assessment, at 21.
  22. 22. Take Charge with Sierra Club’s Solar Homes Program Do You want to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint, Support the Sierra Club & Get a Great Deal on Solar? Do You Think Your Roof Has Decent Solar Exposure? If so, take a minute to fill out an assessment today: For Each Homeowner who goes solar through the program, H&H Solar Energy Services will provide critical support to the Sierra Club - John Muir Chapter for our local conservation work. Sierra Club members and supporters who go solar through this program will get a discount on their system (2.5 – 5%), and the amount of your discount increases as more people participate in the program!
  23. 23. Solving it is our greatest opportunity. Climate Change is the greatest challenge facing our generation.
  24. 24. Questions? Shahla Werner, Director Sierra Club – John Muir Chapter 222 South Hamilton St, #11, Madison, WI 53703 (608) 256-0565