2014 RENEW Wisconsin Energy Policy Summit
Mean Business
RENEW Wisconsin hosted its
third annual Energy Policy Summit, We Mean Business, on Friday, January 10, 2014, at the Pyle Center on the UW-Madison
campus.  Although our previous summits pulled
in large audiences and sparked many lively discussions, by all accounts RENEW’s
Mean Business
summit topped them all.
By the numbers:
  • 241 registered
  • 211 attended
  • 3 standout keynote talks
  • 3 renewable energy business and policy panel
  • 6 interactive breakout group discussions, each
    supported by its own policy brief
  • 6 clean energy projects inducted to the Million
    Watt Club
  • 7 people and/or organizations recognized as
    Renewable Energy Leaders
  • One gala social with beer, chicken skewers,
    and veggies
The purpose of the Summit
was to inform, engage, and inspire those in attendance with the vast potential
of renewable energy to invigorate Wisconsin’s economy and help it compete for
new business ventures, while stimulating job growth and protecting the environment.  The vast majority of attendees received those
themes in mega doses. 
A few quotes from e-mails
received shortly after the event:
”What an honor to be part of such a class
production! Thank you so much.”
“What a great summit! It did so much of
what I look for in an event like that with all the great info updates, various
incredible contexts for all amazing initiatives and progress, and plenty of
inspiration during a tough sledding season.”
“Just wanted to say thank you and
congratulations.  The Summit always gets better.  You all did a great
job with the speakers.”
“Great job with this year’s
conference.  In my humble opinion, this was by far the best one you guys
have put on yet, and it may be hard to top in 2015.  Great, engaging speakers
throughout the day, and good panels too.”
There were three major themes that reverberated
throughout the day:
A major transformation is occurring in
the energy sector, driven by distributed applications of energy efficiency and
renewable energy, which is rendering the traditional energy production business
model increasingly obsolete.
Wisconsin is lagging behind the Midwest,
much of the US, and the world in adopting and adapting to this new business
model, dampening the state’s prospects for sustained job growth.
The opportunity for Wisconsin to
dramatically increase its use of clean renewables still exists, but only
through strengthening its policies along the lines suggested by RENEW.
All the Energy Policy Summit speaker talks (that
were electronic) are located on the RENEW Website: 

Tom Still’s commentary on the Summit (linked below) was published in the Appleton Post Crescent.  Still is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Technology Council and acted as a moderator for the Research, Jobs, & Innovation Panel during the Summit.