Reducing Wisconsin's energy deficit critical to economic success

Increasing in-state energy production the key to unlocking health, economic, and financial benefits
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February 7, 2019

Contact: David Abel | (612) 280-3937 | dwabel@wisc.edu

Contact: Katya Spear | (608) 262-5831 | knspear@cows.org

[MADISON, WI] The state of Wisconsin currently has one of the biggest energy production deficits of any state in the nation; $14.4 billion left the state in 2016 to pay for imported energy. A new report by COWS, based at UW-Madison, finds that transitioning to in-state energy resources like wind, solar, and energy efficiency would bring these dollars and jobs back to the state of Wisconsin.

 

A first step is for the state to transition to an electric economy, which would result in a significant reduction in overall energy consumption due to the relative efficiency of in-state resources and electric equipment for things like vehicles and heating. An electric economy would enable the state to supply all its energy from in-state resources and eliminate its reliance on imports.

 

The results would be dramatic and overwhelmingly positive on several fronts:

  • an estimated 162,100 net jobs created
  • an increase in the state GDP by $13.9 billion
  • and a slew of health benefits including an avoided 148,000 work loss days
  • 34,400 asthma exacerbations resulting from a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and air pollution exposure

The report estimates that for every MWh transitioned to in-state energy, the emissions benefits would total $154 and generate an additional $3.40 in tax revenue.

 

The win-win-win benefits of transitioning to in-state sources of energy for Wisconsin’s economy, public health, and environment strongly support the implementation of policy to help drive this transition. Wisconsin now faces a major opportunity to begin harnessing these benefits of in-state energy production as described in this report. 

 

View full report here.