The Executive Director of a non-profit working to build Wisconsin's renewable energy production disagrees with an assertion made that renewable energy is not economically feasible to meet state energy needs.
Tyler Huebner of Renew Wisconsin was responding to criticism of Governor Tony Evers action to work toward meeting the goals the Paris Climate Accord to reduce carbon emissions. Huebner says some business lobbyists are using outdated numbers when criticizing the cost of renewable energy.
He says the cost of renewable energy has dropped significantly in recent years...
"The average cost of installing wind farms has dropped by 69 percent since 2009 and the cost of installing large solar farms has dropped about 88 percent since 2009. The main idea is switching from coal and natural gas power plants over time, as those plants are replaced they're going to be replaced with very cost effective sources of renewable energy that produce no carbon..."
He says the cost drop is enough that utilities can switch to renewable resources and not raise the cost of electricity. About 12 percent of Wisconsin's electricity is consumed from renewable forms of energy...
"Renewable energy is a bi-partisan issue. It's an issue where we can create jobs in Wisconsin with homegrown sources of energy that we can build and operate here. The costs have come down so much this is going to be an economically beneficial transition as we look into the future..."
Huebner pointed to a recent open bidding process in Colorado resulting in dozens of wind, solar, and battery storage proposals. Selecting the lowest-cost set of projects, Colorado policymakers and the utility were able to identify a set of projects that replaced.