At the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison, Representative Katrina Shankland of Stevens Point has introduced a flurry of bills designed to encourage clean local energy.
“Ask high, and eventually you’ll get something,” she says.
One bill would expand the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. Wisconsin has already reached the goals laid out in its current RPS, which requires 10 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2015. The bill would raise the goal to 20 percent by 2020, and 30 percent by 2030.
“The more diversity of energy generation we have, the better our reliability, the lower our costs, and the less dependent we are on fossil fuels,” Katrina says.
She has heard from business people across the state who want clarity on Wisconsin’s distributed generation policies. For example, it’s not clear whether third-party Power Purchase Agreements are legal or not.
“What does that say about Wisconsin’s business climate?” Katrina asks. “Big companies like Kohl’s and Walmart are interested, but we don’t clearly allow it here.”
“This isn’t about politics,” she says. “This is about Wisconsin’s future.”