Wisconsin Gov. Walker wants market incentives, not mandate, for renewable energy
Gov. Scott Walker says he would use marketplace incentives instead of a mandate to increase use of renewable energy in Wisconsin. Supporters of the state's renewable portfolio standard celebrated when state regulators recently announced that util...
Gov. Scott Walker says he would use marketplace incentives instead of a mandate to increase use of renewable energy in Wisconsin.
Supporters of the state’s renewable portfolio standard celebrated when state regulators recently announced that utilities now collectively generate more than 10 percent of Wisconsin’s electricity from renewable sources - meaning power companies were nearly two years early in hitting a target set in a 2005 state law.
Walker made his comments to reporters after a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a fueling station Tuesday in Oak Creek.
Walker said that if he’s re-elected this fall, state government would not use what he calls a heavy hand in increasing the use of renewable sources.
“Through incentives and other methods out there, we could make it more than achievable,” Walker said. “We’ve seen that in other areas - with incentives and encouragement we can get down that path. I don’t know if it’s something where the government needs to play a direct role in terms of upping a mandate, as much as being aggressive.”
The campaign office of Mary Burke, the Democratic candidate for governor, did not immediately return calls seeking a statement on her position regarding the issue.
Keith Reopelle of the group Clean Wisconsin said more than marketplace incentives may be needed. He believes that the 2005 law, and an earlier version signed by Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson, have succeeded in sparking the utilities to act.
“We know that when you have that policy in place so that utilities have certainty about what is being required and what their goals are, that absolutely helps to develop those resources in a more efficient, orderly and consistent way,” Reopelle said.
Reopelle encouraged Walker to convene a group made up of diverse interests to talk about the next phase of renewable energy in Wisconsin, and aim to generate percent of electricity from renewable sources.
Wisconsin Public Radio can be heard in the Twin Ports at 91.3 FM or online at wpr.org/news.