Wisconsin Legislature Debates Increased Renewable Portfolio Standard

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Democratic legislators in Wisconsin plan to unveil a plan this week that would require investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities, and rural electric cooperatives (“electric providers”) to increase their renewable electricity portfolios to 30% by 2030.  Wisconsin’s current renewable portfolio mandates that electric providers obtain 10% of their retails sales from electricity generated from renewable resources by 2015.

In addition to the increased mandate, the bill would create for the first time a requirement that electric providers secure a certain amount of power from waste-to-energy digester projects.  Meanwhile, an alternative proposal introduced by Republican legislators would allow nuclear power to qualify as an eligible renewable technology. 

While the Democratic bill faces an uphill battle to become law, many commentators predict Wisconsin will eventually need to act on this issue as a result of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plant.


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