WisBusiness: Wind energy can be engine for job creation, Doyle says

By WisBusiness Staff

In Chicago for a national wind energy conference, Gov. Jim Doyle pointed to the experience of Wisconsin Rapids as an example of how wind energy is creating jobs in this recession.

He said Wisconsin Rapids is transforming from a paper-making manufacturing town to one that will soon be home to a large wind turbine blade factory with more than 400 workers.

“We really appreciate wind power,” Doyle said during a national news conference at the American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER 2009 conference and exhibition in Chicago. “The Midwest, I believe, can serve, can be much of the answer to America’s energy problems.”

Doyle joined the governors of Iowa, Michigan and Ohio, along with Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, in talking Tuesday about how wind energy is helping communities that have lost manufacturing jobs.

American Wind Energy Association CEO Denise Bode also announced results of a new poll showing that 75 percent of U.S. voters support a national Renewable Electricity Standard requiring utilities to generate at least 25 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025.

The poll shows support is bipartisan with 86 percent of Democrats, 71 percent of independents and 62 percent of Republicans supporting the national standard, which has been introduced in Congress.

Doyle said Wisconsin already has a good renewable portfolio standard with a statewide renewable energy goal of 10 percent by Dec. 31, 2015. Wisconsin is looking at extending the standard to 25 percent by 2025 — not only for electricity, but for motor vehicle fuel from renewables.

See the AWEA press release

See a state-by-state look at renewable portfolio standards