Wisconsin Utilities Meet 2015 Renewable Energy Requirement

Wisconsin utilities have met the requirement to produce 10 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2015 reported the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) (to view the June 3, 2014 memo see 2013 Renewable Portfolio Standard Compliance under Hot Topics). Last year, they generated 10.2 percent of their power through renewable sources, mostly using wind turbines. The PSC predicts 11.5 percent of energy will be produced from renewable sources by 2016. Wisconsin’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS ) was set in 2005. The RPS of surrounding states has been increased several times since then. Minnesota’s adjusted RPS for example is 25% by 2020 and they are about to meet that early. They also included a solar carve out to that rate that sets a specific target for solar energy generation at 1.5% by 2020. Illinois’ rate is 25% by 2025. Iowa already produced 24.5% of its electricity from wind alone in 2012, enough to power 1.3 million average Iowa homes. And, electricity prices in surrounding states are lower than in Wisconsin. Renewable portfolio standards are one type of policy used by many states nationally to boost renewable energy’s contribution to economic development, job creation, and customer choice. Now, another factor is the US EPA requirement that Wisconsin reduce its emissions from coal burning power plants by 34 percent by 2030. Renewable energy generation is one component of meeting that requirement. To read more about the WI RPS, see WSJ and JS.