The price consumers pay for energy fails to account for the value of environmental improvement, energy diversity, and economic development, said Don Wichert, RENEW Wisconsin’s executive director, at an Earth Day information event at Wisconsin’s Capitol.
“In the case of solar energy, for example, this energy source offers the value proposition of very low or no air emissions, uses the energy available at the site, and keeps the energy dollars circulating through the local economy,” said Wichert.
Wichert compared renewable power to the value people pay for when choosing various vehicle transportation modes. Each takes you from one spot to another, but some offer more value that people are willing to pay for.
“Fossil based energy, in contrast, produces five to ten times more lifecycle green house gases, is dug out from the earth thousands of miles away from Wisconsin, and the majority of the money paid for this energy leaves the state,” Wichert said.
A recent survey of undecided Wisconsin voters showed that nearly 90% supported solar, wind, and hydro power as their preferred energy sources, according to Wichert.
“With thousands of examples of small distributed renewable energy applications in Wisconsin, as well as 12 wind farms, it’s clear that renewable energy works and has huge potential for the Badger state.”