Wis. governor proposes carbon-free electricity by 2050

Source: By Chris Hubbuch, Wisconsin State Journal • Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) has a plan that would require the state’s power to be carbon-free by midcentury.

The proposal would also increase renewable energy and conservation funding.

Fossil fuels are currently used to generate more than three-quarters of Wisconsin’s electricity, and about 15 percent of the state’s electricity is generated by a nuclear plant.

A handful of other states have similar targets. Hawaii and California plan for all of their electricity to come from renewable sources by 2045.

Some utilities owned by investors have made self-imposed commitments to cut carbon emissions. We Energies, Alliant Energy Corp. and Madison Gas and Electric Co. have said they will reduce their carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

Xcel Energy Inc. has said it will have eliminated all carbon emissions by 2050. It’s unclear how the company will reach that goal.

“Engineers would tell you it is technically feasible,” Xcel Energy’s president of Wisconsin and Michigan operations, Mark Stoering, said earlier this year. “There are some practical challenges.”

The energy budget proposed by Evers also calls for $10 million from the state’s settlement with Volkswagen to be spent on charging stations for electric vehicles and for a remaining $15 million in settlement funds to be used to replace public transit vehicles.