Study Finds Wisconsin Economy Benefits from Clean Energy Transition

La Crosse County’s sustainability office commissioned a study by UW-Madison to learn the economic and health impacts of generating all of Wisconsin’s energy in-state. Since Wisconsin has no coal, natural gas, and petroleum resources, the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) ran the models on powering Wisconsin with 100 percent renewable electricity. They calculated a $14.4 billion state energy deficit in 2016 to import fossil fuels of Wisconsin’s $19.1 billion total energy expenditures. A summary of findings (based on assumptions they report on in modeling) is that Wisconsin jobs, economy, health, and environment would benefit from transitioning Wisconsin to in-state energy resources.

Jobs would more than double with an additional 162,100 jobs to 147,900 currently.  Wisconsin’s GDP would increase by 5 percent or $13.9 billion; and, gross tax revenue on wholesale expenditures would rise by $110.5 million with $458 million in added income tax. The state would enjoy $21.1 billion in avoided human health damage from air pollution including 1,910 premature deaths annually, 148,000 work-loss days, 34,400 asthma cases, and other impacts. Wisconsin would realize $4.6 billion in the value of reduced CO2 emissions. Many additional beneficial impacts were not quantified from water use, resiliency and grid performance to non-air-pollution-related health impacts, and the time-frame to achieve the transition is not specified. Also see, wsj