By Brian E. Clark
MADISON – Gov. Jim Doyle on Tuesday committed the state to buying
92,000 megawatt hours of electrical energy from renewable sources over
the next decade – enough power to light 15,600 homes annually.
The renewable energy purchase – which Doyle said is the equivalent of
eliminating the tailpipe pollutants of 23,110 cars a year – is part of
his new “Clean Energy Wisconsin” effort.
Doyle unveiled the program at C5-6, a young Middleton company that is
developing enzymes to make corn, soybean and cellulosic ethanol. The
governor said the plan, some of which has already been discussed, will
move the state forward by promoting renewable energy, creating jobs,
increasing energy security and efficiency and improving the
Doyle also announced today that the Department of Commerce will soon
begin taking applications from businesses and researchers for financial
assistance from the new Wisconsin Energy Independence Fund that will
fund $15 million in grants a year over the next decade. The
application period for the first round of funding will run from April 1
to June 2.
John Biondi, C5-6 president, said his firm would apply for one of the
“We’re a start-up and funding is hard to get at this stage,” said
Biondi. “We appreciate the leadership the governor is showing in
renewables and bioenergy. We share his excitement about the potential
Doyle compared the first decade of the 21st Century to the early 1900s,
when Wisconsin leaders made policy decisions that moved the state away
from wheat production to become the national dairy leader.
“Now, confronted with an urgency to set a new course in energy policy,
we stand before a similar opportunity,” he said. “Just as a combination
of talent and resources combined so long ago to make us the dairy
state, we now have the ingredients to make us the clean, renewable
Doyle touted the scientific prowess of UW-Madison, which he called the
nation’s leading public research university. If the state follows his
plan, he predicted Wisconsin would be able to generate 25 percent of
its electricity and 25 percent of its vehicle fuel from renewable
sources by the year 2025.
He also said he wants the state to capture 10 percent of the market
share for renewable energy and bioproducts, which he predicted would
eventually generate billions of dollars for the state and create 20,000